Infographic: facts about generic drugs

Sorry that thing is a little hard to read. I like infographics, so I thought I'd share.

This is really informational. So does this mean, in a few years there will also be a generic novolog, humalog, or whatever?

Time will tell. The patents on humalog and novolog both expire in June 2014 which will open the door to generic drug makers to start producinging, although- that’s no guarantee that they will do so, but I’d be willing to bet there are some pretty smart people crunching the numbers to see if it’d be a profitable endeavor to pursue producing generics in near future

Unfortunately, the issues are much more complicated. This "ad" basically reflects the position put forward by the FDA as it relates to generics and is not universally accepted. For instance Bernstein believes that Glucophage is much better than generic metformin. If it contains the same amount of the active ingredient, then it must be the same. Ooops, formulation makes a big difference. That is why metformin and metformin ER behave so differently.

Now to insulin. We have the possibility of a generic insulin when the patents on modern insulin analogs expire. But. And that is a big But. Big pharma has been very successful in extending the life of patent protection. And even if the window is open to generic makers, generics still require FDA approval and big pharma has a wide range of tactics to discourage the entry of generics.

And finally, there is the issue of biosimilar. There are now two branches to deal with generics vs biosimilars and they aren't the same. The most likely candidates are biosimilars from places like India where Biocon is developing a biosimilar to Lantus. We even had recent battle between Lilly and Sanofi over a biosimilar Lantus.

In the end we actually have this conflict. If our government won't step in to innovate with new insulin and assure universal access, then there has to be a business case for companies. And that means they have to profit. In the pharma industry, profit means profit big time. If the market is flooded with cheap generics achieving universal access, then no company will innovate.