When patents expire on brands like Merck's cholesterol pill Zocor, million-dollar ad budgets usually fizzle as cheap generic competition takes over the market. Experts say the situation will be different once biologic brands face competition from follow-on biologics (FOB) in the US. Far from sapping promotional dollars like small-molecule generics, biosimilars could spur marketing by makers of follow-ons and original biologics alike. The passage of healthcare reform, including an approval pathway for biosimilars, means biologic brands could see rivals replicate and market similar products. The legislation lays out a series of requirements for the FDA to consider FOB applications. Higher manufacturing costs will be built into biogenerics pricing.
IN FOCUS Biosimilars mean competition for biologics When patents expire o
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