SOURCE: Paragon Financial Limited

Paragon Financial Limited

August 22, 2012 08:20 ET

Major Pharmaceuticals Begin to Offer Copayment Coupons for Brand-Name Drugs to Compete With Cheaper Generic Alternatives

The Paragon Report Provides Stock Research on Bristol Myers Squibb and Pfizer

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Aug 22, 2012) - Pharmaceutical stocks have performed admirably in 2012, despite having to cope with major patent expirations making way for a rise in generic competition. The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Pharmaceuticals Index Fund (IHE) -- which measures the performance of the pharmaceuticals sector of the United States equity market -- has gained nearly 13 percent year-to-date outperforming Dow Jones industrial average by roughly 5 percent. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Drug Manufacturers -- Major Industry and provides equity research on Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE: BMY) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE).

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In an attempt to lower prices to compete with generic versions of their top selling drugs, major pharmaceutical companies have begun offering U.S. patients coupons to reduce copayments on brand-name drugs. Popular drugs such as -- Lipitor, Plavix, and Diovan -- are among the drugs U.S. patients have been receiving coupons for. Analysts predict that more companies will follow suit to help offset big revenue drops as a result of patent expirations. The coupons being given out currently only work with private insurers. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association in study done last year estimates that over the next 10 years copayment coupons could increase prescription drug spending by as much as $32 billion.

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Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. Shares of the company fell sharply earlier this month after Robert Ramnarine, the company's assisted treasurer for capital markets, was charged with insider trading.

Pfizer's tofacitinib, an experimental rheumatoid arthritis drug, in a recent company-sponsored study helped eased symptoms of patients suffering from ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. "These are very exciting data, this would clearly make an impact on treatment," said Miguel Regueiro, co-director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

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