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Stronger-Than-Ever Generic Threat Forces Big Pharma to Be Creative
Date:4/24/2008

NEW YORK, April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The market for prescription generic drugs has evolved into a formidable competitive threat to branded pharmaceuticals. Driven by the large number of blockbuster drugs that have come off patent, including Prozac, Cipro and Rebetol, the market grew at a compound annual rate of 12.6%, reaching $36.18 billion in 2007, according to a new report by Kalorama Information, World Market for Prescription Generic Drugs, 6th Edition.

Applications for generic drugs have increased from 307 in 2002 to 973 in 2006. More than $60 billion worth of brand name, blockbuster drugs will lose patent protection in the next decade, which should result in continued robust sales growth for generics. However, the generics market is changing, with increased consolidation, competition from Eastern Europe, India and China, and brand name companies seeking to protect their franchises by moving into generics.

To combat these difficulties, a new breed of generic company is emerging to threaten brand manufacturers. Using increased revenues generated from generic versions of a growing number of top-selling branded drugs, generic companies are exploring new drug targets, including specialty generics, generics with a distinction, generic biologics and proprietary molecules.

"With a stronger generic threat than ever, the strategy right now seems to be 'If you can't beat them join them'," notes Mary Anne Crandall, Kalorama analyst. "To defend their turf, companies such as Novartis, Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim are seeing the benefit of incorporating a generic unit."

Generic drug makers are also becoming more aggressive, challenging brand patents. TEVA and Barr have been instrumental in pushing to introduce generic versions of brand name drugs long before U.S. patents expire.

Kalorama Information's report World Market for Prescription Generic Drugs, 6th Edition takes a comprehensive look at the strategies being used by generic co
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SOURCE Kalorama Information
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