Big Pharma is bad for American health care. These companies contribute virtually nothing to basic research and use predatory tactics and outright manipulation of patent law to stifle innovation.
The most important thing we can do to improve American health care is to develop systems that make maximal effective use on non-brand name drugs. In other words, we have yet to make optimal use of the drugs we already have.
The money that is currently being poured into proprietary research for branded products should be diverted to health care system research.
By DUFF WILSON at the New York Times.
At the end of November, Pfizer stands to lose a $10-billion-a-year revenue stream when the patent on its blockbuster cholesterol drugLipitor expires and cheaper generics begin to cut into the company’s huge sales.
Pfizer could lose $10 billion in annual revenue when the patent on Lipitor, the cholesterol-cutting drug, expires in November.
The loss poses a daunting challenge for Pfizer, one shared by nearly every major pharmaceutical company. This year alone, because of patent expirations, the drug industry will lose control over more than 10 megamedicines whose combined annual sales have neared $50 billion.
This is a sobering reversal for an industry that just a few years ago was the world’s most profitable business sector but is now under pressure to reinvent itself and shed its dependence on blockbuster drugs. And it casts a spotlight on the problems drug companies now face: a drought of big drug breakthroughs and research discoveries; pressure from insurers and the government to hold down prices; regulatory vigilance and government investigations; and thousands of layoffs in research and development.
I look forward to the day when all of these drugs lose patent protection.
We need new systems much more than we need new drugs.