The generic-drug hammer has fallen again, and this time it hit a retail pharmacy. Walgreen's fiscal fourth-quarter profit dropped by almost 4 percent in part because of generics.
Simvastatin--the generic form of the Merck cholesterol drug Zocor--was a particular problem. The company filled three times as many simvastatin scrips this quarter than it did during the same period last year, but made virtually the same amount of money because of tightened reimbursements from health plans. Maybe Walgreen's and Merck can cry in their coffee together.