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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Lipitor Won't Go Gentle Into that Good Generic Night

Today's Wall Street Journal reports that "Pfizer Inc. isn't rolling over and conceding the market for its cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor after the blockbuster brand loses its U.S. monopoly at the end of the month" (read the article here). Pfizer has an aggressive co-pay card/PBM discount plan that it hopes will allow Lipitor to maintain a 40% share of the combined market for Lipitor and its generic equivalents for at least 6 months after generic brands are launched.

This has prompted me to man-handle Dylan Thomas's famous poem as an ode to Lipitor and its fight against patent expiry:

Do not go gentle into that good generic night,
Patent expiry should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the innovator's right.

Though wise marketers at patent end know generic is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning their Rx brands
Do not go gentle into that good generic night.

Good Rx brands, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail market share might have danced in a greener pasture,
Rage, rage against the dying of the innovator's right.

Wild marketers who caught and sang cholesterol numbers in flight,
Learned, too late, Lipitor's fate, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good generic night.

Grave Rx brands, near death, that see with blinding sight
Off-patent drugs could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the innovator's right.

And you, my Lipitor, there on the sad market height,
Curse, bless, your loyal patients now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good generic night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the innovator's right.

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