Watson Pharmaceuticals' president Paul Bisaro said in a Financial Times interview that the generic industry was in a "death spiral" caused by its increasingly aggressive patent challenges to new drug patents. Says Bisaro, the industry is getting so good at challenging patents - even with as little as 6 months having elapsed since the innovator's launch - that we are "eating our young".
Bisaro believes that the innovators are so tired of having their generic small molecules attacked so aggressively and early (and successfully) that they've slowed development of new drugs. Further they are shifting their emphasis to the discovery of biomolecules which are harder to produce and to copy. Boo hoo, a company like Watson won't be able to readily copy biologics and will need to restrict itself to sucking all the profit out of small molecules. Bisaro admits that Watson has prototype generics in its pipeline that the innovator hasn't even launched yet.
Mr. Bisaro also criticized the FTCs challenge to "pay for delay" deals which pay generics competitors to sit on the sidelines for a while rather then launch their cheaper medicine into the market. Likewise, he criticized the FDAs long -- and getting longer -- 26 month average to approve a new generic drug application.
Better pick up the remaining golden eggs while you can.
Posted by Bruce Lehr October 3rd 2010.