Generic drugs market set to flourish more in the U.S

According to a top industry expert, the generic drugs market in the U.S. would further flourish in the coming four years. This is because more brand name medications will be made available as lower-cost generics. Since several well-known drugs are about to lose their U.S. patent protection between 2011-2014, generic drugs market is expected to see a tremendous growth. This would also help the U.S health healthcare system to save a massive $70 billion in these four years.

A new forecast suggests that generic medicines may also increase their market control, accounting for about 85% of prescriptions by 2014. About half of the patients who were diagnosed of a major chronic condition were prescribed a generic medication in the past two years. Currently, about two-thirds of such patients are prescribed generic drugs. The generics market is especially booming for certain conditions such as high blood pressure, migraine and depression. Over 70% of patients who are suffering from these conditions are first prescribed a generic medicine.

According to a study, in case of availability of generic medications, doctors prescribe generics about 93% of times, an increase from 83% in 2003. With the expiry of the patents of well-known drugs, it is estimated that new brand-name drug would not gain much grip in the U.S market. However, if a new brand medicine is really addressing some unmet needs, it has the likelihood to gain traction.

Popular medications to lose U.S. patent protection between 2011-2014 are:

  • Pfizer’s Lipitor cholesterol treatment
  • Plavix blood-clot preventer which is sold by Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Besides, Eli Lilly’s schizophrenia drug and Merck’s Singulair asthma treatment are also expected to face huge competition from the generic drugs market.

Source: Reuters

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