Poof, there goes $31 billion

“Your patent has expired” might be the four most dreaded words a pharma company CEO can hear. A close runner-up: “SEC on line two.” But, like death and taxes, patent exclusivity is a certainty and in 2018 at least 26 prominent drugs will lose their protection. According to EvaluatePharma this could cost drug makers $31 billion in 2018 alone. The biggest loser: Pfizer’s Lyrica (pregabalin) for fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain, which had 2016 sales of $5 billion. Might be a good time to be a generic company, but don’t ask Teva, as Scott Gottlieb tweeted about how active the FDA has been in approving generic products. Several market research reports put the worldwide value of the generics market around $200 billion. And with decisions like this being made, the sky is the limit.