The company: Merck ($MRK)/Bayer
Patent expiration date: August 31, 2013
Estimated Global Sales 2012: $882 million
The scoop: Merck hopes to gain 6 drug approvals in the next 18 months, which include the potential insomnia treatment suvorexant and osteoporosis treatment odanacatib. And it's a good thing those applications are ready; both Temodar, a brain cancer treatment, and Maxalt, a migraine drug, fall off patent next year. Combine that with a 55% tumble in Singulair sales to $602 million (the drug began facing generic competition in August), and Merck is in need of new approvals to temper the blow. Merck did receive some uplifting news last October with regards to Temodar, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a ruling that allows the company to block Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ($TEVA) from selling its generic until 2013. Still, Merck's third-quarter sales came in just below Wall Street expectations. Temodar's estimated sales for this year amount to $882 million.