Volume 89 Issue 49 | pp. 12-18
Issue Date: December 5, 2011

Cover Story

Before The Storm

A near record high in new drug approvals fortifies the pharmaceutical industry ahead of next year’s patent expiries
Department: Business
Keywords: forecast, pharmaceuticals, acquisitions, restructuring, research and development

The year in pharmaceuticals closes with a milestone event: Pfizer’s Lipitor, the most profitable drug of all time, went off patent last month, delivering the biggest thunderbolt in the storm of patent expirations. The number of drugs losing patent protection will reach a record high in 2012, marking the appearance of the long-anticipated patent cliff.

But after struggling in recent years to reignite lagging product development pipelines, major pharmaceutical companies will ride over . . .

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