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Pharmaceutical Industry Patents

Is the Pharmaceutical Industry out of Patents?

August 14, 2008

According to several recent news reports (see here or here) many of the big pharmaceutical companies have core patents expiring in the next few years. Pfizer is likely to be the hardest hit with the expiration of the Viagra and Lipitor patents. Pfizer also had to withdraw one of its up and coming drugs after the results of clinical studies prompted safety fears. Pfizer is already downsizing the company and has reportedly shut down a plant in Ireland. Eli Lilly is also facing a similar situation with its expiring patent for Zyprexa. Lilly recently converged with Covance, a drug research company, in order to try to bring new drugs into the pipeline faster and to stave off potential business losses from expiring patents.