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Prescription medicines to drop in price

26 July 2011 - 6:41pm

Seven of the world's best-selling drugs are about to drop in price, with more likely to follow.

The cause for the price cut is the expiration of patents, which means that generic manufacturers will be legally allowed to create cheaper alternatives.

Drugs used in the treatment of diabetes, depression, HIV are expected to become more affordable over the next 18 months.

The prescription medicines currently held under exclusive patents are estimated to be taken by millions worldwide.

One such drug is Pfizer's blood cholesterol-lowering Lipitor, the top-selling branded pharmaceutical in the world. It is said to be worth $12 billion a year.

The value of drugs which will lose their patents by 2015 is estimated to be around $225 billion.

A more competitive market means that patients will be the main winners, with savings increasing the level of accessibility to necessary medications.

In Australia people can arrange with their private health cover provider to cover many prescription medicines which aren't listen on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

As most funds require a co-payment to cover the cost, the drop in prices potentially means that people could soon be paying less for prescription medicines not listed on the PBS.