Branded drug: Zyprexa
U.S. sales: $921 million
Companies: Prasco Labs, $461 million; Teva, $459 million
There is big demand for generic Zyprexa, the bipolar, schizophrenia treatment from Eli Lilly ($LLY) that had been its biggest seller before going off patent in October 2011. Prasco Labs makes Lilly's authorized generic. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ($TEVA) and partner Dr. Reddy's Laboratories got the nod for their copy last year. In just 8 of 12 months covered by this report, sales of the generic Zyprexa allowed Prasco and Teva to rank near the blockbuster range, according to data from IMS Health.
Due to safety questions, some highly publicized litigation and a $1.42 billion off-label marketing settlement in 2009, Zyprexa sales had started to falter for Lilly ahead of its 2011 patent expiration. Still it produced some monster sales numbers, and is now producing a monster-sized gap in Lilly's finances now that generics have arrived. In the first 9 months of this year, worldwide sales were down 68% to $1.3 billion and sales in the U.S. were down a breathtaking 88% to $300 million.
That hurts even more since Lilly continues to defend itself against more than three dozen lawsuits over its safety risks, including links to weight gain and diabetes. Lilly won the first case to go to trial with a jury determining that it had adequately warned patients of possible side effects.
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