Two leading schizophrenia medications will have to contend with generic rivals soon, as their patents will be up sometime over the next twelve months.
The patents of both Zyprex (olanzapine) and Seroquel (quetiapine) will end before next summer; Zyprex’s patent will end in October 2011, while Seroquel’s will end in March 2012.
They are not the only drugs who will have to compete with generic versions soon, however. Over the course of the next fourteen months, seven of the world’s twenty bestselling drugs (counting Zyprex and Seroquel) will lose their patents, including the top two prescription drugs most commonly known around the world, Lipitor and Plavix.
It is anticipated that the ending of these seven patents will bring about a significant reduction of prices for the drugs.
According to EvaluatePharma Ltd
., a London research firm, the majority of the world’s top selling drugs which garner roughly $255 billion in global annual sales will lose their patents by the year 2016, and approximately 120 brand-name prescription drugs will lose their patents by the end of this upcoming decade.
"My estimation is at least 15% of the population is currently using one of the drugs whose patents will expire in 2011 or 2012," said Joel Owerbach, chief pharmacy officer for Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Since generic drugs typically cost 20% to 80% less than brand names, physicians reported
that they hope the flood of generic drugs into the market will aid patients who are ill but cannot afford necessary medications.