Generic Drugs Have Major Market Share By Volume, but not by Total Sales, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

U.S. patent policy grants drug manufacturers the normal 20 years’ protection from the date of the original patent (which is most likely filed very early in the research process), plus a period of 14 years after FDA approval.  Once the patent on an existing drug expires, competing drug companies may be allowed to market cheaper generic versions which are nearly-identical chemical compounds.  (However, the FDA must approve the generic version, which may require several years of effort and a substantial financial investment on the part of the generic manufacturer.)  Generic prescriptions as a percentage of all U.S. pharmaceutical sales rose…

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