Private equity firms are sitting on a record amount of unspent cash--$1.2 trillion by some estimates. At the same time, Big Pharma companies are looking to cast off off-patent drugs and other old products. Could that make a match?
Pharma companies sometimes try to extend the lives of drugs by developing new formulations or follow-on products before their patent expires. Swiss pharma giant Roche scored a victory today when European regulators approved a subcutaneous version of its cancer drug Rituxan, known as MabThera overseas.
Regulators in both the U.S. and the U.K. have been cracking down on pay-for-delay deals in recent months, with the issue going before the U.S. Supreme Court in March. Now, it seems, EU regulators will join them. The EU's anti-trust regulator, is set to fine 9 generic drugmakers for accepting money to keep their low-cost products off the market.
For months FDA regulators have been wrestling with the dangers of allowing a flood of cheap, generic version of the highly addictive OxyContin on the market vs. consumers with pain issues having access to cheaper meds.
Lipitor as a loss leader? That's the approach Wegmans' pharmacies are taking. As the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, the grocery store chain offers generic versions of Lipitor for free, as a way to bring in new pharmacy customers. And the promotion must be successful--Wegmans just extended it through the end of this year.
Takeda Pharmaceutical last week nailed down FDA approval for three new diabetes drugs--DPP-4 inhibitors--and it was none too soon, as today's earnings report makes crystal clear.
Forest Laboratories is in dire need of a Bloody Mary for its still-severe Lexapro hangover. The U.S.-based drugmaker fell short of low expectations for the third quarter, thanks to a 41% drop in sales, largely because of generic competition for the blockbuster antidepressant. And the company ratcheted back predictions for its full-year results.
By the time the ball drops in Times Square this year, branded drug sales will have dropped 3.5%. So says a new report on U.S. spending, which pegs this year's decline at that rate--and forecasts an annual decline of 2.6%, on average, over the next several years.
We are in the midst of third quarter earnings reports, and they show with stark detail what the tsunami of patent losses means to the financial underpinning of drugmakers. It's a serious problem that will erode earnings for years to come. Pharmaceutical researcher EvaluatePharma estimates there are $290 billion of sales at risk from patent expirations between this year and 2018. Read the full report >>
The credit-analysis firm confirmed the drugmaker's current ratings, but changed its outlook to "negative" from "stable." That's because Lilly is walking toward two big patent expirations, fresh off its recent loss of Zyprexa exclusivity.