Cymbalta

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Drug: Cymbalta
Generic: Duloxetine
The company: Eli Lilly
Patent expiration date: Dec. 11, 2013
Estimated Global Sales 2012: $4.9 billion

The scoop: Eli Lilly ($LLY) has already been hit hard by generic knockoffs of Zyprexa. Next year, you can expect to see its antidepressant Cymbalta start to get knocked around by the knockoffs as well. Throw in the Humalog patent expiration, and you can see why some analysts have started biting their nails over Lilly's ability to push enough drugs through late-stage development to hold the line on revenue. Fitch has already started to fret that Lilly will soon watch its numbers distort outside the lines analysts are comfortable with. If revenues fall, the pharma giant could wind up spending more than 25% of sales on R&D. And even with new approvals, Lilly could see sales start to slide at an 8% annual rate after Cymbalta goes generic. Lilly tested the drug in adolescents. But while the trial didn't produce positive results, it did win a stay of execution for Cymbalta, which had faced a loss of patent protection in June. Now its exclusivity will stay in place through the end of the year, giving Lilly more time to pump branded sales.

For more:
Special Report:
Cymbalta - The 15 best-selling drugs of 2012
Sales, profits fall short for Lilly's 'ho-hum' quarter
Fitch flags big obstacles ahead for Eli Lilly