The blockbuster drug lenalidomide, sold under the trade name Revlimid, has been used to treat multiple myeloma, smoldering myeloma, and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) since it was approved by the FDA in mid-2007.
Originally patented by Celgene, (who was acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb in 2019), Revlimid had generated a major profit of $1.6 billion in just the first year, peaking its revenue at roughly $14 billion dollars annually in 2021.
However, sales of the blockbuster drug came in below expectations this year a $2.6 billion in the first quarter, compared with $2.8 billion a year ago. This is due to the drug going off patent in early 2022, bringing along generic competition. With the expectancy of new generic drugs flooding the market, BMS expects sales of Revlimid to drop to between $9 billion and $8.5 billion this year.
So far, we have seen some generics enter the market- Teva pharmaceuticals announced the release of its generic version of Revlimid, (the first to release in the US), Novartis' Sandoz has released its version in Europe and Canada, and Accord Healthcare has released its version in the UK. Many other companies are set to launch Revlimid generics this year in the U.S., including Indian firms Natco Pharma, Sun Pharma, Zydus Cadila, Cipla and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories.
Many of these companies struck limited deals with BMS, agreeing to hold back the launch of their version. And although the introduction of generics usually puts downward pressure on prices, limited-volume deals such as these will not impact prices as much.
Pharma14 global pricing database tracks all marketing authorizations in over 68 countries with standard monthly updates.
Sample data (Spain): Revlimid vs generics. 10 mg - 21/pack. Over 75% price drop at generic launch.
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