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Re: How much cheaper is generic prozac than real proza lissy

Posted by Sunnely on October 7, 2001, at 0:04:37

In reply to How much cheaper is generic prozac than real proza, posted by lissy on October 4, 2001, at 9:33:54

> I really need to go back on A.d.s but my insurance deductible is so high and my husbands job is slowing down so I was wondering if the new generic is a bargain or not. Also, has anyone experienced weight gain and carb cravings w/it? I can't afford to gain anymore weight from a.d.s but my life is spiraling out of control w/out them. Please respond asap. I am desperate for help.

************************

Eli Lilly held the patent for the antidepressant Prozac (fluoxetine) which was launched to the US market in 1988. It was the first of the new generation of antidepressant medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to emerge into the market.

The battle to manufacture a generic version has been a heated one, not surprisingly, as the business is incredibly lucrative, and the market expanding incredibly. Thirty-eight million patients have been prescribed Prozac since its launch, and it is now sold in over 100 countries. Prozac was named the "product of the century" by Fortune magazine in 1999.

Barr Laboratories was granted the exclusive right to manufacture generic Prozac (fluoxetine) in the first 6 months. The release of the new generic version will immediately effect consumers, as Barr Labs will offer the drug at a discount of 30% off the current price of Prozac, and this won't even be the end of the diving prices. The spring of 2002 will see the end of the 6-month period of exclusivity that Barr has been granted to sell the 20 mg version of the drug. At the end of those 6 months, other pharmaceutical manufacturers will be granted permission to begin producing the drug in the same dose, and the increased competition will further drive the prices lower. In addition to Barr, four other companies currently have the same 6-month exclusive rights to manufacture fluoxetine in other (less popular) strengths or tablet forms.

Patients are not the only party who read the end of Lilly's patent as good news- health insurance companies will likely save as they steer their patients toward the cheaper generics. Those nearly 25% of the American population without any pharmaceutical benefit insurance will also be greatly effected, as the new low prices of generic fluoxetine will grant them acess to an affordable option for relief from depressive symptoms.

This loss of patent protection for Eli Lilly is not the last on the horizon - beginning last year, and until the year 2005, brand-name prescription drugs with annual sales of up to $40 billion are slated to be stripped of patent protection. Some estimates expect that the generic drug industry's revenue will therefore rise to $20 billion in the same time period.


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