By Melly Alazraki,
NEW YORK ( DailyFinance) -- The imminent arrival of the dreaded "patent cliff" has been haunting the pharmaceutical industry for years, and it's finally here. With patents on many blockbuster drugs about to expire, an estimated $250 billion in sales are at risk between now and 2015, according to data from EvaluatePharma.
Once drugs lose patent protection, lower-price generics quickly siphon off as much as 90% of their sales. For consumers, the savings from generics can be substantial, as this price table of the top 25 brand-name drugs with available generic counterparts highlights. According to pharmaceutical analyst Sophia Snyder at research firm IBISWorld, generics now average about 30% of the price of the brand-name originals.
In 2010, the pharmaceutical industry had sales of $860 billion worldwide, up 3% from 2009. Just 133 blockbuster drugs accounted for $295 billion of those sales -- about 34% of the market -- according to IBISWorld. Of those blockbusters, 13 are set to lose patent protection through 2013.
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Although the generic industry will benefit in the short term, it will also see a slowdown in revenue growth after 2015 because fewer blockbusters will be coming off patent for them to replicate, IBISWorld said in a recent report.According to IBISWorld, the top five best-sellers set to lose patent protection in each of the next two years are:
|Patent Expiring in 2011||Condition||Company||2010 U.S. Sales|
|Levaquin||antibiotics||Johnson & Johnson||$1,312,000,000|
|Concerta||ADHD/ADD||Johnson & Johnson||$929,000,000|
|Patent Expiring in 2012||Condition||Company||2010 U.S. Sales|
|Plavix||anti-platelet||Bristol-Myers Squibb /Sanofi-Aventis||$6,154,000,000|
|Actos||type 2 diabetes||Takeda||$3,351,000,000|