Jul 7, 2009

Eisai’s Patents on Alzheimer’s Drug Aricept Expires in 2010 Price to Drop

For those of you paying around $166 or more each month for Aricept there is good news coming soon. The patent for Aricept expires in November, 2010...


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I would expect the price of Aricept to fall fast once the patent expires.

When a patent expires, a single generic drug manufacturer usually gets the competitive edge to manufacture and sell the drug for the first six months.

After this six month period of exclusivity, any approved generic manufacturer can apply for approval from the FDA, and start manufacturing and selling the drug.

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I would expect the cost of Aricept to plunge to $60-80 a month in 2011 (after the six month exclusivity period ends). There should be some good healthy competition in the Aricept market.

I remember when Zocor (Simvastatin) went generic. The drug quickly fell from around $120 a month to $20. Now that there is healthy competition it sells around $10. Guess you know we were happy when that happened (my mother takes Simvastatin).

Eisai, the patent holder on Aricept, is quickly preparing to bring a new version of Aricept to the market. The new Aricept is an extended release (Donepezil Sustained Release) formula. The most interesting aspect of this new extended release formula is that it would allow the daily dosage of Aricept to increased from 10 mg to 23 mg.

It will be too late for my mother when this new, stronger version, of Aricept comes on the market.
But, I'll still be watching to see if it works better--more effectively. I hope so.


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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. T Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room