THE GOOD TIMES ROLL ON FOR THE GENERIC INDUSTRY
The ?wave of genericization? that has lowered health costsfor millions of Americans will continue over the comingyears, according to a new market estimate that forecastsnothing but sunshine for the generic-drug industry. Behindthe glowing outlook: a new rash of patent expirations during2008 that will create generic competition for pharmaceuticalsthat now generate $20 billion in annual sales, accordingto IMS Health. Among the big-money drugs slated to losepatent exclusivity over the next 12 months: Risperdal (risperidone,Janssen LP), Fosamax (alendronate sodium, Merck &Co), Topamax (topiramate, Ortho-McNeil Neurologics Inc),Lamictal (lamotrigine, GlaxoSmithKline), and Depakote (divalproexsodium, Abbott Laboratories).
?In 2008, more than two thirds of all prescriptions writtenin the United States are expected to be for generics,? and thedemand for cheaper generic products is likely to rise in othercountries as well next year, IMS Health researchers reported.?New government contracting initiatives in Germany, andeducational programs in Japan, Spain, and Italy, will drivegreater generics use in those markets. Also, generics competitionwithin the biotech sector will rise as the biosimilar epoetinalfa is marketed across Europe.?