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In the next 14 months, seven of the world's 20 best-selling drugs are scheduled to go "off patent."

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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:02 PM
Original message
In the next 14 months, seven of the world's 20 best-selling drugs are scheduled to go "off patent."
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20082918-1039170...

CBS/AP) Prescription drug prices may be sky-high now but are poised to fall dramatically.


In the next 14 months, seven of the world's 20 best-selling drugs are scheduled to go "off patent." As they do, the brand-name drugs will lose out to generic versions, cutting costs for patients and companies that provide health benefits. Generic versions of big-selling drugs for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, depression, high triglycerides, HIV/AIDS, and bipolar disorder also are on the way. Generic medicines - chemically equivalent to the original brand-name drugs - typically cost 20 percent to 80 percent less than the brand names.

The flood of generics will continue for the next decade or so, as about 120 brand-name prescription drugs lose market exclusivity, according to prescription benefit manager Medco Health Solutions Inc.

"My estimation is at least 15 percent of the population is currently using one of the drugs whose patents will expire in 2011 or 2012," says Joel Owerbach, chief pharmacy officer for Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, which serves upstate New York. The new generics will slice copayments of those with insurance. For the uninsured, who have been paying full price, the savings will be much bigger.

snip

....................................................

Call me cynical, but I am betting that there will just be a NEW "tiered" accounting added to insurance plans.. "Generic PLUS" or some-such designation..

Our plan used to be generic @$5, and $10 for all others..and then they started "tiering" them..One med my husband takes has a $100 copay, 2 others are $75 copay and most are now $25..generics are $10, but oddly enough NONE that he takes are generic :grr:..

the latest thing is that the Dr prescribed a shitload amount of insulin for him $150 copays to us...and after 2 weeks of trial, he was so nauseous, the dr said "well, quit taking it".. :grr: I wish that when s NEW med were prescribed, they would do it in an introductory way, so we don't get stuck with unusable meds that we paid a bundle.. I bet we have "tossed" about $2K worth of meds since he was diagnosed with diabetes
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jaysunb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. I can hardly wait...
Edited on Mon Jul-25-11 01:07 PM by jaysunb
three of these , Lipitor,Zedia & Actos are on my list. All cost me $150.00 or more a month. Can't Wait ! :evilgrin:
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librechik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:07 PM
Response to Original message
2. I'm terrified at the shenannigans drug and insurance companies will pull
to get around this new situation. Lipitor is the only statin I can tolerate and it's already tiered up--looking forward to the generic version, but I don't trust those people.
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jaysunb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. They'll definitly delay it if possible
but eventually they won't be able to stop it. Seen this movie before.
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RockaFowler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Yep
Look at the Acid Reducers - Aciphex and Nexium. Those 2 will never be generic. They just keep changing the formula to get around it.
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. For some of these drugs, they'll introduce a new and slightly different formula
and market the hell out of it, touting its improvement over the older drug by the same manufacturer. Think Nexium and Prilosec.
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Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. Just checked, and it looks like generic Actos
won't be available until at least August of 2012. I'll be waiting too. Between my husband and I, our meds are $300+ a month.

The eye drops for my glaucoma finally went generic, but still costs 40 cents per drop, after insurance.

You wouldn't want to hear the words that come out of my mouth, when that drop misses its target. :evilgrin:
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. Actos will be taken off the market by the FDA when it turns generic. The side effect of
"swelling" (which can compromise some forms of heart disease) which is now considered acceptable in an expensive patent drug will suddenl;y become unacceptable. Everyone will be changed to Januvia.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
5. Excellent. That's how patents are supposed to work. Copyright too, before they extended it forever.
So-called intellectual "property" isn't property at all. It isn't even a right. It's a government-granted limited privilege. With emphasis on "limited."
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
7. I and various members of my family have chronic conditions
that have been well controlled by prescription drugs for many years. I've seen our costs go down as one by one or scripts went generic. I had to go back on to the name brand for one drug; for all the others the generic works just fine.

Imagine what this will do for Medicare/Medicaid budgets.

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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
8. It sounds like your problem is with your husband's doctor.
First of all, he probably has access to sample medication and he should be offering this to you rather than having you pay full pop to try an expensive new medication and see if it works. That's the whole point of samples. In your shoes I would get in the habit of asking because a lot of doctors don't offer the freebies unless you ask.

Additionally, the fact that NONE of your husband's medications are generics suggests that his doctor may be in the habit of trying the latest greatest thing first. In many cases there's an older, off-patent medication that might work as well but that isn't as well promoted, so I'd get in the habit of asking about alternatives if handed a prescription for a brand new medication that's advertised three times an hour in prime time. A good doctor should have no problem explaining why inexpensive older medication A isn't suitable and he'd rather start with hot new wonder drug B, if that's the case.
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. Samples are part of the problem. Docs only get patent samples. They work and then they write the rx
So, people never get a chance to try a generic. The doc and patient think they are getting a good deal, but there is a reason drug companies sample.
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Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. My doctor gives me the name brand samples to try,
along with a prescription for the generic version.

He took over my GP's practice after he passed away, and has been my doc for 30 years. The area is run down now, but he tells me he will never move, because so many of his patients are elderly, and rely on the city bus to get to appointments.

He's a keeper. I don't know what I will do if he ever retires.
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Understood. But if there's a perfectly good reason to go with the newer drug
A sample would at least give a chance to try and see if it works and if the side effects are reasonable before laying out a small fortune in copays.
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Evasporque Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
9. Republicans poised to change laws to keep drugs expensive and profitable....nt
Edited on Mon Jul-25-11 01:20 PM by Evasporque
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Maru Kitteh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
10. ALWAYS ask your provider if a generic = is available. When getting a new script always ask, how
much does this medicine cost? If it is very high and you don't have coverage or adequate coverage for it, ask what alternatives might be available that could cost less.

It's not just helpful for you, it helps others as well when you help keep a provider aware of the real financial burdens their patients face.

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littlewolf Donating Member (920 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
12. That is excellent news ..... my moms BP med had to be
name brand ... they tried Generics and they didn't work as well ... so had to go back to the name brand .... but
some of her other meds were just fine generic ... generic has been just fine for me as well .....
glad to hear this ... and it will help Medicare budgets ..... win / win ....

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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
13. Plavix and Lipitor, $85 combined monthly co-pay.
Edited on Mon Jul-25-11 01:26 PM by DainBramaged
At $4 a month from Target when they go generic, I'm buying the Brooklyn Bridge...


http://www.medcohealth.com/art/corporate/anticipatedfir...
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
14. So now this makes all the sense in the world now
Edited on Mon Jul-25-11 01:36 PM by Horse with no Name
When this happens, there won't be "enough" profits for both companies.

http://www.newsdaily.com/stories/tre76k1gg-us-expresssc... /

>>>>snip
NEW YORK, July 21, 2011 (Reuters) Express Scripts Inc will buy rival Medco Health Solutions Inc for $29.1 billion, creating a U.S. powerhouse in managing prescription drug benefits that is sure to draw antitrust scrutiny.

The deal would be the biggest ever in the healthcare services industry and give Express Scripts close to one-third of the pharmacy benefits market, gaining much more leverage for negotiating drug prices for employers and other clients who must reduce their exposure to spiraling healthcare costs.

The industry's expertise in managing pharmacy spending has made its services all the more attractive and lured new competitors like insurer UnitedHealth Group.

>>>>
"They would be more than twice as big as their next largest competitor," Morningstar analyst Matthew Coffina, referring to CVS. "Scale is really what matters in this business in terms of bargaining power relative to suppliers, the ability to operate mail order facilities and process claims efficiently.

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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
15. There are already new versions of Plavix and Lipitor which docs are being told are "better".
Here is what will happen. I know because I have seen it before:

1. New meds will be introduced. Based upon flimsy evidence, their manufacturers will claim that they are better than the older ones. This happened with Prilosec--Nexium. Nexium is the same as Prilosec, just twice the dose. This is particularly easy to do with heart drugs, because even the slightest improvement in outcomes in the most suspect study is enough to make the medical community afraid not to prescribe it.

2. The FDA will be petitioned to take the old drug off the market because the manufacturer who made a gazillion dollars selling it as a patent has suddenly discovered some risk associated with it. The FDA will say "Yes." The classic case was Seldane--Allegra, although this has happened many times since then.
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
16. Once these drugs go generic, they should increase market share
For example, a generic Lipitor (Atorvastatin) should take market share from any statin drugs that are still protected by patent.

I take simvastatin (Zocor) at a low dose. It is already generic, and it works well for me.

Per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simvastatin "In the UK in 2008 the typical per patient cost to the NHS of simvastatin was approx 1.50 per month."

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izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
20. Expect some brand new patent claims
That storing the formulation in pyramids or the addition of lettuce extract from leaves picked on the full moon show demonstrable improvements in efficacy. Got to tweak those patent claims to get some more years on the money machine!
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Or combining it with another medication, or fiddling with the absorption or the dosage.
I still can't believe what a freakin' asthma inhaler costs, or that they honestly got away with taking them off of generic because the medication stayed the same but the propellant was changed. :eyes:
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ProgressiveEconomist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 04:24 PM
Response to Original message
23. How many millions in 'pay for delay' settlements will patent-holders transfer to generic manufacture...
Amazingly, apparently it is LEGAL for major drug companies to pay off generic drug companies to in effect extend the duration of their patent monopolies!

From http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-24/-pay-for-delay... :

"'Pay for Delay' Deals Over Generic Drugs Should Be Halted, FTC Tells Court
By Sara Forden - Tue May 24 2011....

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission urged an appeals court to outlaw certain settlements between brand-drug manufacturers and generic-drug makers over the timing of sales of copycat medicines, saying they harm competition and hurt consumers. The agency asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia to reverse a lower court⠒s ruling that accords between Merck & Co.'s Schering-Plough unit and generic manufacturers of K-Dur 20 high blood-pressure medicine didn't violate antitrust laws. ... The FTC is fighting agreements between companies about when generic drugs can be marketed, known as 'pay for delay' 'reverse-payment' settlements, saying they cost consumers the equivalent of about $3.5 billion a year in higher prices for pharmaceuticals. These transactions compensate the generic-drug maker in return for dropping challenges to a patent and establish a date when the non-branded version of the drug can be sold, the agency said.

The FTC is pressing the courts and Congress to limit the settlements. Brand- and generic-drug makers say the deals may bring lower-cost copies of medicines to the market sooner than they would otherwise. ...

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz called the deals 'outrageous' and said they harm consumers in a May 3 interview with Bloomberg News. Deals that delayed the introduction of cheaper generic medicines rose 63 percent last year, he said in the interview. The number of deals increased to 31 from 19 in 2009, the FTC said. The agency said there were no such settlements in 2004. The cases involved 22 products and $9.3 billion in sales. The FTC tracks the drug patent settlements, which companies are required to report to the agency. ..."
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Spike89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
24. Various "tricks" already used...
The most cynical and deceitful one is lobbying (and getting) the drug reclassified as over-the-counter just before the patent expires, then releasing a near identical "new" version as the "prescription strength" formula. Very few insurance companies will pay anything toward over-the-counter drugs, the generic companies may not even bother making an analog, and consumers get screwed again.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-26-11 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
25. This deserves a kick
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