A Prescription for Saving Big Drugmakers

Shares in traditional "Big Pharma" drug companies have fallen on hard times. After outperforming other stocks for decades, they have lagged the market in recent years. The pharmaceutical business is still one of the most profitable industries in the U.S. But concerns over patent expirations of blockbuster drugs, generic drug competition, regulatory problems, and a lack of promising new products are giving investors caution. Significant drug price increases did not help the drugmakers' public perception, and President Obama's health-care reform plans might limit future prospects.

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