My last blog recounted how Big Pharma had jettisoned people and facilities over the years, leaving it now unable to develop properly differentiated drugs. The conclusion was that a new model for product development is required, which will be explored in my next blog coming soon.
In the meantime, let’s turn attention to the products that Big Pharma has also been cutting lose for many years, those out of patent. We turn again to FIND IT, FILE IT, FLOG IT: For Big Pharma and other greedy people, for inspiration. The book has this to say on the topic:
“Products go too
Along with the people and facility assets, product assets also found their way onto the scrap heap. These were the ones that had outlived their patent lives, the products that earned all the healthy profits in the past. They were considered to be clogging up the sausage machines with products that didn’t make the necessary returns, and so Big Pharma stopped making these products and left it to other companies to copy their products and service their once-loyal customers.
The copying companies—named generics—started turning Big Pharma leftovers into profitable businesses.”
It is common knowledge that over eighty percent of prescription drugs sold today are generic, and some pretty big companies have been created on the back it. Why Big Pharma companies would turn up their noses to such business is a mystery to many, including me.
The saddening net result, though, is that they now need to charge eye-watering prices to the ever shrinking patient markets available to them. To defend their position, Big Pharma devotees are developing all manner of pharmacoeconomic cases that prove the cost savings to the healthcare system outweigh the purchase price. None of it appears remotely convincing.
Wouldn’t it have been easier, and more profitable in the long term, to have continued satisfying those once loyal customers with solutions to their healthcare problems?