The expiration of drug patents causes financial challenges for most pharmaceutical companies. Considering that it is common for drugs to take up to eight years for FDA approval, that leaves only 12 years on the market before patents expire and less expensive, generic versions hit the market.
The Patent Cliff
The patent cliff refers to when more than three dozen patents expired between 2007 and 2012. This event cost an estimated $67 billion in revenue. This is only expected to continue, as losses were estimated to be $250 billion between 2012 and 2015. In 2017 alone, Pfizer expected a $2.4 billion loss from competing generic drugs.
Mitigating Loss from Patent Expirations
As a pharmaceutical marketer, your best strategy is to sell as much of your drug before your patents expire and new generic versions become available. However, you still want to retain as much of your customer base as possible once generic versions hit the market. By gaining brand loyalty from your customers, you will have a better chance of continuing to profit from your original pharmaceutical product.
Pharmaceutical companies can incorporate programs and services to generate more prescriptions for their brand.
Sample vouchers and e-vouchers are quickly outnumbering physical samples, and they can help patients get started on unfamiliar brands.
Co-pay Discount Cards
A co-pay program can bring your pharmaceutical products to uninsured or under-insured patients’ hands.
Increase prescription fills with reimbursement services for eligible patients.
Ongoing services that boost medication adherence are especially helpful for patients with dementia or general memory loss issues.
If your pharmaceutical company isn’t taking advantage of these types of marketing programs, patients already are. There are countless online resources patients are using to find discounts for their prescriptions. Learn more about how AlphaScrip’s open pharmacy network can assist you with developing loyalty programs and other strategies to boost compliance with your brand.