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'Double-Dip' Blow Could Strike Big Pharmas in 2012
CNBC.com | December 27, 2011 | 05:26 AM EST

Pharmaceutical giants’ profits could take a "double-dip" hit next year from patent expirations on blockbuster drugs and President Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms, according to a report from CreditSights, a credit market research firm.

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Blockbuster drugs which will lose patent protection next year include Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Plavix—2010’s biggest selling drug in the US—and Merck’s Singulair.

Patent expiries are set to cost pharmaceutical firms $54 billion in sales between 2011 and 2012, with the cost reaching over $255 billion by 2016, according to EvaluatePharma, a research firm.

“We could see a double-dip effect in 2012, due to lower sales and earnings from loss of exclusivity, and healthcare reform costs that have not yet been reduced,” said Diya Sawhny senior pharmaceuticals analyst at CreditSights.

“A significant slate of prescription products lose patent protection in 2011 and 2012, and their sales will decline,” she added.

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