Earnings season has provided one measure of how hard patent losses and generic competition have hit pharma companies. The thousands and thousands of laid off workers is another gauge. But a new IMS study provides a fascinating picture of how much U.S. drug buyers, including the government, have saved.
In 2011, U.S. payers saved $1 billion every other day, a total of $193 billion. That is because 80% of the 4 billion prescriptions sold in the U.S. are now generic drugs, a 22% jump from 2010, PharmaTimes reports. But the IMS study flips the numbers again. It doesn't say what the total spent is, but puts generics' share at just 27%.
The study was conducted for the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA), which can then brag about such things as saving payers $481 billion from generics over the past 10 years. And these figures barely take in the loss of protection for Pfizer's ($PFE) cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor, which occurred Nov. 30.
Other studies tell other stories. The $67 billion in drug sales put at risk this year from patent expirations is the most yet, EvaluatePharma has reported. Next year looks better with only $29 billion in drugs losing exclusivity. It moves to $40 billion in 2014 and $56 billion in 2015 before dropping back to $31 billion--2010 levels--in 2016.
- read the PharmaTimes story
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