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Drug companies panic as thirteen 'blockbuster' drugs about to lose patent protection

Monday, February 07, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: drug, patents, health news

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(NaturalNews) Reports indicate that the drug industry is in a panic over the patent losses of 13 big-money drugs, and many others, within the next few years. Everyone knows that the drug industry thrives on developing "blockbuster" drugs that reap huge profits during their initial patent period, after which generic competitors can come in and begin producing the same drugs for less. But Big Pharma is having trouble developing new blockbusters to take the places the old blockbusters, which could hit industry profits hard in the very near future.

According to data compiled by EvaluatePharma, a pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry analysis group, more than $15 billion worth of drug patents are set to expire in 2011, and another $133 billion worth of drugs in the next six years. One of the biggest blockbuster drugs, Pfizer's $11 billion heart drug Lipitor, is also set to expire late in 2011.

Other patent expirations to occur in 2011 include Eli Lilly's Zyprexa and Johnson & Johnson's Levaquin. And in 2012, Bristol-Myers Squibb's Plavix, AstraZeneca's Seroquel, Merck & Co.'s Singulair, Takeda's Actos, and Amgen's Enbrel, all face patent expirations. To put the patent losses into perspective, more than double the value of drugs are expected to lose their patents in 2012 compared to in 2011.

While some sources are bemoaning these losses as a big hit to the drug industry, which they naively view as the medical saviors of mankind, the patent losses are a big win for the public. Not only do they demonopolize drug industry control over FDA-approved medical treatments, thus reducing costs for patients, but they also stop the industry from endlessly raking in billions of dollars in profits for products that cause millions of serious injuries and deaths every year (http://www.naturalnews.com/024632_drug_drugs...).

The drug industry is not giving up, though, as it scrambles to concoct new blockbuster drugs to keep the cash cow flowing. But sources say many drug companies are having difficulty coming up with new ones. And they face additional problems from the growing awareness that many natural remedies are superior to drugs because they provide increased benefits and real improvements, without the harmful side effects.

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