The effects of patent expiries


In 2014, LSIPR featured some of world’s top-selling drugs that were due to lose patent exclusivity that year. The list included the big hitters Copaxone, Nexium and Cymbalta, with Evista, Micardis, Restasis and Nasonex also included. This year we have profiled five drugs set to lose US patent protection in 2015.

Looking down the list, you can see Gleevec, Lantus, Namenda, Abilify and Avodart/Jalyn, which will all have expired by November 20; one (Gleevec) expired on January 4. These drugs are made by some of the titans in the pharmaceutical industry, including Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline, and each drug individually is worth at least $1 billion per year.

The article is of interest for a number of reasons. Not only will it show which companies are going to face generic competition (if they haven’t already), and how well they are responding to that, but it will reveal how much money those companies are certainly not going to make for their relevant drug compared to last year. Do they have similar patented products to offer patients? Have they diversified into different sectors? How will shareholders (where applicable) react? These are just some of the questions you may be asking of the innovators.

By highlighting the markets that will see increased competition, the list will show which conditions are likely to be more affordable to treat. The types of illnesses treated by the drugs we have featured range from deadly diseases such as chronic myeloid leukaemia to awful afflictions such as depression. Although not all the mentioned treatments are necessarily hugely expensive at the moment, surely any reduction in prices will be welcomed.

Copaxone, Nexium, Cymbalta, Evista, Mincardis, Restasis, Nasonex