Declining prices and a saturated market could spell doom-and-gloom for the generic pharmaceutical industry, but some in the business are turning lemons into lemonade, seeing opportunities instead. According to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, these companies are putting their special expertise in chemistry to work.
Senior Editor Rick Mullin explains that the traditional commodity-generics sector is foundering. Major generics firms have cut jobs and are selling off parts of their businesses in the face of price erosion in the U.S. There's an overabundance of small-molecule generics, and drug retailers are now demanding lower prices. And biosimilars haven't turned out to be the saviors they were predicted to be.
But some companies that make active pharmaceutical ingredients are optimistic and are starting to use their niche chemistry know-how to offer additional services. A few have moved into areas that would position them to manufacture their own generic drugs. Others now provide specialized design services. They also are working on generics well before patent protections run out on particular medicines. And the passage of the U.S. Generic Drug User Fee Amendments last year should translate to a more predictable market with shortened approval times and an increased focus on quality.
The article, "Turmoil in generics brings opportunity for fine chemicals firms," is freely available here.
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