The strength of a drug company is in the patents that they hold and more importantly, on their pipeline. Pfizer seems like it’s loosing both.

There are many indications that Pfizer’s pipeline doesn’t contain very many big players in it. What they are realistically going to do about that is buy up smaller drug companies (the ones that make only one or two drugs) in order to buy their patents and pipeline. Pfizer, in this situation is similar to Yahoo, they have lots of cash, especially because they just sold their OTC lines, to spend on buying up smaller companies.In recent years, Pfizer has been loosing it patents, either through natural deaths (the expiration of a patent) or through sheer will of the market (they stopped buying). It may seem odd that the consumer would just stop buying a drug, but this was the case for Celebrex, a COX-2 Inhibitor drug that fights arthritis. After the viasco with people getting heart attacks from Vioxx (Celebrex is a similar drug in the same family of COX-2 family). After Vioxx was pulled from the market, Bextra (also a Pfizer COX-2 drug) was also pulled), then came the gradual death of Celebrex. Pfizer left Celebrex on the market, thinking that people will still buy it. In a sense it made a lot of sense. From a therapeutic stand point, it is a great drug if you don’t have any cardio vascular problems. But which one of use can honestly say that we are not an increased risk of cardio vascular problems. So doctors stopped prescribing because they are afraid of getting sued. Needless to say, Celebrex numbers plumeted. Celebrex use to be one of Pfizer’s best sellers.

Now comes the next big blow, th US Supreme Court on Monday rejected Pfizer’s request to overturn an appeals court ruling that allows Canadian drugmaker Apotex to sell generic versions of its hypertension drug, Norvasc. Norvasc’s patent expired last week.

It must be asked why Pfizer would sue over a drug that already ran out of patent. The fact of the matter is, it’s regular practice among drug makers. When a drug patent expires, the drug company would sue a generic company and in doing so, it would stop generic companies from manufacturing their drug by court ruling and allows for another 30 months of drug sales. It just seems that Pfizer was unlucky this time and they were not able to get that 30 months.

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