• WisBusiness

Monday, June 25, 2012

 2:10 PM 

No "patent drug cliff" for Wisconsin

By Mike Flaherty

The pharmaceutical industry is taking one on the chin this year. That's one reason biosciences as a sector of the U.S. economy didn't grow faster last year – and a key reason why Wisconsin's biotech industry was a stronger perform that those of other states.

Major drug companies are in the process of falling off a "patent drug cliff" as the patents expire on several highly popular prescription drugs, drugs that will soon be sold as generics that are lower cost – and a far lower profits, according to EvaluatePharma, a research organization that monitors the performance of 3,500 drug and biotech companies around the world.

More than $290 billion worth of sales are at risk over the next six years as these companies fall off the cliff – and the sales revenues from prescription drugs will actually drop by nearly 1 percent this year after decades of growth, Evaluate Pharma announced at BIO International.

Wisconsin won't be following many other states over that cliff because the state's biotechnology sector is diverse and doesn't rely heavily on "big pharma," noted Lisa Johnson, the vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

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