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Drugs going off patent through 2020

Looking to find out more information about drugs going off patent through 2020?

This post provides information on the "patent cliff" and links to what we consider the three best articles on the internet regarding patent cliffs and upcoming patent expirations.

What is the Patent Cliff?

The 1984 Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984 kick-started the generic drug industry and helped launch the notorious “patent cliff” era of 2010–2015, when patents for many blockbuster drugs expired. The main “patent cliff” era maybe over, but upcoming patent expirations still provide a massive potential market for new generic drugs.

The patent cliff is a period when patents for many of the small molecule blockbuster drugs, such as Nexium (esomeprazole) and Lipitor (atorvastatin), expired. For example, between 2009 and 2014 over $120 billion in branded pharmaceutical sales were lost due to patent expirations.

This then allows generic drug companies to make cheaper versions of the brand drugs, whilst still benefiting from the profits. The first generic company to gain approval benefits from an exclusive 180 day marketing period. After 180 days, other generics from other companies can also be released. This in turn should benefit consumers due to generic drug price drops due to this increased competition.

However, given the recent increase in large molecule biologics, is the patent cliff really over?

Main drugs going off patent through 2017

This excellent infographic from Dicksondata shows the major drugs off patent through 2017

Major drugs going off patent 2017 Major drugs off patent through 2017


Upcoming Biologics Expiry Dates

A brand biologic patent has to expire first before an approval on a generic bio-similar can be released. However, many biologics have a long waiting period before bio-similar competition can affect pricing.

The Generics and Biosimilars Initiative has listed the following key upcoming biologic patent expirations:

  • Erbitux (cetuximab) - Feb 2016
  • Rituxan (rituximab) - Sept 2016
  • Herceptin (trastuzumab) - June 2019
  • Avastin (bevacizumab) - July 2019
  • Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) - May 2024
  • Enbrel (etanercept) - Nov 2028


Drugs going off patent through 2020 - Recommended links


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