With all those patent expirations under way, brand-name drugmakers, of course, are desperate to wring as much money as possible out of their products. So how do they counter the generic onslaught? There are several tricks and every company employs multiple strategies, although patent challenges were the most popular choice over the past three years, according to a new survey.
Patent litigation, in fact, was pursued by 60 percent of those queried by Cutting Edge Information, followed closely by defensive pricing, which was popular among 57 percent of the respondents. Half of those surveyed also like to concoct new formulations or a next-generation drug, with new indications clocking in at 45 percent. Only 29 percent pointed to an authorized generic or generics subsidiary.
Over the next three years, however, the most likely strategy to be pursued will be new formulations of existing brand-name meds, with 63 percent choosing this route. New indications garnered 56 percent, and a next-generation drug was close behind at 53 percent. What about patent litigation? That's down to 51 percent and defensive pricing fell to 49 percent. Meanwhile, switching a drug to over-the-counter status may not be as popular as some thought, falling to 19 percent from 21 percent.
There were 47 execs - brand managers, product managers and business directors, among others - who participated in the survey from companies including Merck, Pfizer, Novartis, Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Gilead Sciences and Roche.