The number of patents filed by big pharma has fallen dramatically according to figures published by Withers & Rogers LLP, the patent and trade mark agents. The top 10 pharma companies filed just 129 “patent families” of drugs in 2009, compared to 187 just two years previously. There was also a move to biological medicines from small molecules or chemical-based medicines. Biological medicines accounted for 60% of the patents by 2009. For more, see here: http://www.withersrogers.com/news/242/107/Research_shows_gap_in_patent_filing_activity_for_biological_drugs_and_small_molecules_is_widening.
Paul Gershlick, a Partner and head of Pharmaecuticals and Life Sciences at Matthew Arnold & Baldwin LLP, comments: “The pharma sector is aware of the patent cliff – the falling out of patent of many major blockbuster drugs between 2011 and 2016 without adequate replacements in the pipeline. These figures confirm that phenomenon. The pipeline has dried up, and other factors remain in place that make the bringing to market of new drugs a difficult task.”