Forest Laboratories - 10 Largest U.S. Patent Losses

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Drug: Lexapro
Company: Forest Laboratories
2010 U.S. sales: $2.316 billion
Impact: 52.63% of U.S. revenue
Exclusivity expires: March 2012

No wonder shareholder activist Carl Icahn (photo) was worried about the impending loss of patent protection on Forest's top-selling drug Lexapro. It accounts for more than half of the company's revenue. Because it's sold under license from Denmark's Lundbeck, Forest's Lexapro numbers all derive from the U.S. market. When the U.S. patent expires, Forest won't have international markets to fall back on.

It's true Forest has made some preparations for filling the huge crater generic Lexapro versions are likely to make in the company's sales numbers beginning next year. It has launched 5 new drugs over the past few years, including the antidepressant Viibryd, which was gained through the acquisition of Clinical Data. None of these drugs has yet to break $300 million in sales, and most of them are in still in the double digits. The company is leaning heavily on hopes that growth in the overall antidepressant market, coupled with some price increases, can keep Lexapro sales at $2 billion for 2012.