SOURCE: QMedRx

October 25, 2012 06:00 ET

QMedRx Considers Patent's Role in Branded and Generic Drugs

While Many Patients Will Often Turn to Low-Cost Generic Medications as They Become Available, Leading Manufacturers Are Now Considering Temporary Coupon Incentives to Retain Sales; Specialty Pharmacy QMedRx Comments on the Short- and Long-Term Effects of These Strategies

MAITLAND, FL--(Marketwire - Oct 25, 2012) - In the pharmaceutical industry, leading brands are able to build a sturdy consumer base as they maintain the exclusive rights to sell under the protection of patent laws. However, as a recent CBS News report explains, many manufacturers quickly turn to producing and selling generic versions as those patents expire. In response, major manufacturers, such as Pfizer, are pursuing marketing strategies to offer temporary low-cost prescriptions of brand name drugs through the use of promotional coupons. While this trend may be a temporary solution for both consumers and manufacturers, QMedRx, specialty pharmacy, notes that the eventual switch to generics may be inevitable.

QMedRx explains that as leading brands face patent expirations, generics can often flood the market. The company notes that since pharmacies often operate to benefit the consumer, many will often switch a patient over to generics to help reduce costs, unless otherwise requested. As the article explains, this transition is also beneficial to insurance companies, as they typically will have to cover less of the cost associated with generics than if the patient were to stick to the brand name medication. Although QMedRx notes that this is the typical pattern in the industry, the recent decision by Pfizer to offer coupons for its popular Lipitor drug may present complications to all parties involved.

The article explains that Pfizer Inc. "now offers copay coupons that can bring insured patients six of its medicines for as little as $4 a month each. That includes Lipitor, which was taken by more than 3.5 million Americans until generic competition arrived last Nov. 30." The article notes that industry experts expect the coupon trend to continue among other leading brands. Although the promotion is only temporary, the article suggests that the efforts can help leading manufacturer recoup the costs of research and regulation that typically goes into producing a new medication.

Still, QMedRx notes that the challenges these promotional trends present health insurance providers may weight heavier on consumer trends. In a press statement, QMedRx responds, "A mass patient crossover towards generic drugs is a serious threat to name brands. Patient coupons are a sound strategy for retaining revenue in the short term, but when insurance companies begin sharing the additional cost with patients in the form of extra fees, the generic transition will be inevitable."

ABOUT:

Founded in 1990, QMedRx provides specialty healthcare and pharmacy services through Home Care Solutions, the organization's ACHC-accredited pharmacy. Headquartered in the State of Florida, QMedRx extends its services to families that are traveling or have members living throughout multiple states. In fact, QMedRx has established a presence in 44 states and is an in-network provider for many insurance plans. Through Home Care Solutions, QMedRx provides timely and accurate prescription filling and delivery while establishing and maintaining long-term, positive relationships with both patients and their doctors.