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Impact on major pharmaceutical companies on drug innovation

Recently Washington Post has published a report accusing the multi national companies are not investing on the drug innovation.

As per the report 78% of the drug patents filed to the US Food Drug Administrations are on the drugs which were approved earlier. Also, the companies are not involving much in the drug innovation in the therapy areas which are not viable.

The report mentioned that the patent system is the reason behind this. The companies are working more towards extending the loss of exclusivity date rather than drug research of the new products. For example, recently AstraZeneca has recently tweaked its product Losec and is selling the product with a different brand name to extent the loss of exclusivity.

Sofosbuvir has been researched using the fund released by Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Institutes of Health. However the company is making several profits by selling the drug at a price of $84,000 in United States. The product became a blockbuster by generating revenue of more than $50billion.

The report has also accused Pfizer for investing more on buybacks worth of $139 billion while investing $82 billion on research and development.


The report has suggested that Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should be now more concerned towards the health research. Rules should be made so that the companies will reinvest the profits on the drug innovation rather than the buybacks. There is also a need of empowered HHS to solve the public health needs.

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