Big pharma is making a comeback with cutting edge new drugs to do battle with alzheimers, diabetes, various forms of vaccines, oncology, and acute hospital care. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration has speeded approval of drugs. The agency approved 41 new drugs last year, the most in 18 years, and well above the average of 25 per year since 2005.
Earlier this year Merck lost its remaining patent protection on Remicade, an arthritis drug and its third biggest seller. By 2017, it will lose protection on the cholesterol drugs Zetia, its No. 2 seller, and Vytorin. In total, about $9.5 billion, or 22% of the company’s $42 billion in 2014 revenue, could be in jeopardy through 2017. However, it has developed new drugs that could be blockbusters. Sinclair and Steve review some fascinating stats on pharmaceutical breakthroughs. Jordan Goodman, author of Barron's financial dictionary and formerly with Money Magazine, joins the A Team for a spirited Q & A.