This article is about the future of the drug company Pfizer. Pfizer is the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, creating drugs you've probably seen a lot of advertisements for: Lipitor, Celebrex, Fosamax among others. According to the article, Pfizer is preparing for a huge loss in revenue related to the expiration of patents on their best selling drugs.
"Patent expirations are a big problem. Drugs are granted 20 years of patent protection, although companies often fail to get a product to market before half of that period has elapsed. Once it hits the market, however, the patent-protected drug is highly profitable: Typical gross margins are 90% to 95%. When patents expire, generic makers offer the products at a price much closer to the cost of production."
Seeing a company like Pfizer go down seems like a joyous occasion. Finally people will have an option to buy significantly cheaper generic drugs. Its easy to hate a company like Pfizer, but essentially they are a business, and in a free market they have done what businesses strive to do- make A LOT of money. According to the article, last year on Lipitor alone Pfizer raked in 13 billion dollars!
I admit it was nice to see this company finally losing a little, they represent greed, capitalism, untouchable financial and political power.
"The industry spent $155 million on lobbying from January 2005 to June 2006, according to the Center for Public Integrity, on "a variety of issues ranging from protecting lucrative drug patents to keeping lower-priced Canadian drugs from being imported." The industry also successfully lobbied against allowing the federal government to negotiate Medicare drug prices..."
The future of Pfizer is still unclear, but it sounds as though they will be investing in biotechnology- which is actually kind of horrifying to think of....
"Biotech drugs are especially appealing because they face no competition from generics: No regulatory pathway yet exists in the U.S. for bringing to market generic biotech drugs. So until Congress creates such a pathway, no generic threat will exist to the $4,400 a month that Genentech Inc. charges for its cancer drug Avastin..."
As a nurse I find the pharmaceutical industry to be something of interest, it inspires me to eat healthier and stay fit. In the modern world its hard to avoid never getting a prescription drug (and I certainly believe in the need and validity of drugs for treatment), but I think we should be mindful of companies like Pfizer or Genentech, because they are strictly in a money making business, and even with loses in sight, their power will continue in new directions like biotechnology.
Someday I hope to be apart of the American Nurses Association and lobby to protect patients from companies that exploit them.