Advertisement
Employee Benefits

Generics of Lipitor, Plavix Coming This Year

Versions of those drugs will be cheaper, but overall Rx costs will rise.

Generic copies of the two best-selling drugs, Lipitor and Plavix, will reach pharmacy shelves this year, providing less-expensive alternatives to lowering cholesterol and preventing blood clots.

The drugs are among six blockbusters that will lose patent protection this year. The others are Levaquin, an antibiotic; Taxotere, a cancer drug; Concerta, for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; and Zyprexa, for treatment of schizophrenia.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Lipitor and Plavix account for $13.1 billion in combined annual sales.

The availability of generic equivalents will help users and employers save money. In 2009, the average retail price was 75% lower than the price of name-brand drugs. In addition to the lower cost, many prescription drug plans require lower copays for generics than for brand-name medications.

Generic drugs claimed about 75% of the market in 2009. The share is expected to reach 85% by 2014.

Despite generic availability of some monster drugs, you should expect a 5% increase in overall drug costs in 2011, the third straight year of single-digit increases. Part of the reason is that generics will be phased in. The Lipitor equivalent, for example, won’t be available until late fall.

The generics shouldn’t have much impact on drug company stock prices when they hit the market. The coming end of patent protection has been known well in advance, so any adjustment is likely already factored into share prices.

Advertisement

Most Popular

12 Tax Deadlines for July 15 (It's Not Just the Due Date for Your Tax Return)
tax deadline

12 Tax Deadlines for July 15 (It's Not Just the Due Date for Your Tax Return)

Between due dates for IRA or HSA contributions, paying estimated taxes and other deadlines, there's more to do by July 15 than just filing your federa…
July 10, 2020
65 Best Dividend Stocks You Can Count On
stocks

65 Best Dividend Stocks You Can Count On

These 65 Dividend Aristocrats are an elite group of dividend stocks that have reliably increased their annual payouts every year for at least a quarte…
July 8, 2020
Know Why Your Credit Score Changes: 9 Money Moves to Consider
credit & debt

Know Why Your Credit Score Changes: 9 Money Moves to Consider

Your credit score is a key indicator of your financial well-being and of the risk you pose to lenders. How good is yours?
July 10, 2020

Recommended

HSAs Get Even Better
Financial Planning

HSAs Get Even Better

Workers have more options with flexible spending accounts, too.
July 2, 2020
Pass Along Life Lessons With an Ethical Will
retirement

Pass Along Life Lessons With an Ethical Will

Create a legacy letter to communicate values, experiences and life lessons to your family.
June 9, 2020
Finding Affordable Health Care Now
insurance

Finding Affordable Health Care Now

The pandemic has caused millions of people to lose their jobs — and their health coverage. Here’s a guide to finding affordable insurance.
June 4, 2020
IRS Allows Mid-Year Changes to Health Plans, Expands FSAs and More
taxes

IRS Allows Mid-Year Changes to Health Plans, Expands FSAs and More

You probably never heard of COVID-19 when you picked this year's health insurance policy at work.
May 27, 2020