Trending News Today: Generic Competition Lowers Cancer Drug Revenue

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Last year, cholesterol lowering PCSK9 inhibitor drugs Repatha and Paluent became available and claimed to reduce cholesterol twice as much as other drugs. However, according to the Seattle Times, due to skeptical doctors and insurers, the drugs have not sold as well as the manufacturers had hoped. These drugs cost more than $14,000 per year, whereas the older cholesterol lowering drugs cost only $150 per year. Among the factors limiting spending on these drugs were access, which has generally been limited to patients with extremely-high cholesterol caused by genetic disorders.

Pharmaceutical company Novartis has seen a decline in their income due to US generic competition for their drug Gleevec. The generic became available in February. According to The Washington Post, the company’s net income fell from $2.31 billion to $2.01 billion last year.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC is still searching for a new CEO to revitalize the company’s drug development. The pharmaceutical branch of the company accounts for about two-thirds of its $34 billion annual revenue, which is much less than its competitors, according to The Wall Street Journal. Fixing this problem and increasing shareholder return is something their prospective new CEO must be able to do.