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A Precarious Union: Combining Proprietary and Generic Businesses

Executive Summary

The major generics companies, flush with cash from the recent plethora of patent expirations, are all forging ahead in the proprietary business in order to boost margins and even out the volatile revenues and earnings inherent in their core business. They're pursuing, by and large, strategies that don't take them far from their core expertise and involve reformulating known compounds. Some companies have had moderate success, but weaving together two such disparate businesses is a challenge.

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After a fervent US expanstion capped by the surprise $150 million licensing of Indevus OAB treatment Sanctura, proprietary ambitions at the Croatian generics play Pliva may be stalling. Sanctura sales have disappointed, illustrating again the challenges of taking a specialist approach to primary care marketing. Pliva's best bet may be to switch growth engines to its promising biogenerics portfolio.

Pliva: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back?

After a fervent US expanstion capped by the surprise $150 million licensing of Indevus OAB treatment Sanctura, proprietary ambitions at the Croatian generics play Pliva may be stalling. Sanctura sales have disappointed, illustrating again the challenges of taking a specialist approach to primary care marketing. Pliva's best bet may be to switch growth engines to its promising biogenerics portfolio.

Authorized Generics: Band-Aid or Strategy?

In the past two years, some Big Pharma companies have revitalized their long-dormant generics activities and launched generic copies of their own drugs. They're doing this to capture business they would otherwise lose completely and to tie up generics competitors in court. While similar strategies failed in the past, a number of changes may make it more feasible. Innovators are behaving more rationally about pricing. And they are going after the most lucrative part of the generics business.

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