Friday, July 9, 2010

NTP continues to sue

Also in the news: NTP, the company that secured a $612.5 million settlement from Research In Motion (RIM) in 2006, has sued six smartphone manufacturers - Google, Apple, Microsoft, HTC, LG Electronics and Motorola.

Interestingly (for lawyers), the suit has been launched is in the Eastern District of Virginia.

And now, B.C.

B.C. has also moved to cut the price of generic drugs.

The B.C. government will announce on Friday that it will cut the price of generic drugs by reducing rebates manufacturers pay to pharmacies in return for selling their products, industry sources familiar with the plan said. Unlike Ontario, British Columbia will not abolish the rebates altogether, the sources said.

As a further concession, the province’s nearly 1,100 drug stores will receive government funding to help them provide new pharmacy services, including medication therapy for customers, the sources said.

According to the article, the B.C. government has no stomach to get into a fight with their pharmacists, so these moves are relatively mild compared to Ontario.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Quebec moves to reduce generic drug prices; the "patent cliff"

Two interesting articles. First, Quebec has applied its regulations requiring it to pay the lowest price available in the other provinces for generic drugs, slashing to 25% of the brand price to match Ontario regulations.

Quebec's rules have always struck me as a bit "beggar-thy-neighbour". In any case, analysts are questioning how this will affect the profitability of Jean Coutu, and Pharmascience is musing about cutting jobs in Quebec.

Here's a column that has a discussion of the "patent cliff" - when many patents for blockbuster drugs will expire around the same time, slashing their companies' revenues. The article specifically discusses Lipitor/Atorvastatin