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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 19155

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Journal Article

Debnath B, Al-Mawsawi LQ, Neamati N
Are we living in the end of the blockbuster drug era?
Drug News Perspect 2010 Dec; 23:(10):670-84


For the last two decades, we have
seen remarkable growth in the
pharmaceutical industry. This growth
has mainly been due to the
approximately 100 new blockbuster
drugs, such as Lipitor®
(atorvastatin) and Plavix®
(clopidogrel). More than half of the
revenue of major pharmaceutical
companies and above one-third of the
total pharmaceutical revenues came
from the sales of these blockbuster
drugs. Questions concerning the fate
of these blockbuster drugs are
beginning to surface as they are
approaching their patent expiration
dates, and as they are expected to
face significant competition from
generic versions. Branded drugs with
more than USD 120 billion in sales
(as of 2008) are expected to lose
their patent protection in the next
3 to 4 years, while the less
expensive generic versions are ready
to enter the market. It is plausible
that a major paradigm shift in our
thinking is needed to stay
innovative, competitive and
economically feasible in this new
era of drug development. A new wave
of innovations is expected to boost
the blockbuster regime. Herein, we
discuss the different threats facing
the branded monopoly, as well as
some of the hopeful expectations for
the blockbuster drug.


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