Biosimilars Lure Major Drugmakers Into the Generics Biz
Call it the Revenge of Big Pharma. Generic drug companies such as Teva Pharmaceutical Industries have made billions since the late 1980s by reverse engineering best-selling drugs that came off patent—escaping hefty development and marketing costs—and selling them cheaply. When it comes to copying the best-selling treatments that are coming off patent today—a category known as biologics, medicines produced using the body’s own cells rather than through chemical reactions in a lab—the companies with the expertise to develop and market them are pharmaceutical giants. That leaves companies like Israel-based Teva, the largest maker of generics, increasingly on the sidelines.
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