Generics to save $70 bn

NEW YORK — The U.S. healthcare system could get at least $70 billion in savings over the next four years thanks to loss of patent protection for branded drugs, according to published reports.

IMS Health SVP Murray Aitken said at the Reuters Health Summit that generics also would increase their dominance in terms of prescriptions dispensed, increasing from 77% during the first half of this year to perhaps 85% by 2014, Reuters reported.

A number of blockbuster drugs are expected to lose patent protection and face generic competition in the years to come, notably Pfizer’s cholesterol drug Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) –– the world’s top-selling drug, with more than $7 billion in sales in the United States alone, according to IMS –– which will lose protection next year and face generic competition from Ranbaxy Labs.

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