Abilify was the most profitable drug in America and not just among psychotropics but in total of all prescription medications. Compared to all the other drugs, Abilify, brought in more money- a whopping $7,240,043,661. What exactly does this drug do? I think a lot of people would like answers to this question. Although, it was originally meant for schizophrenia- it progressed to bipolar- and now it is being used to treat depression. Sounds like a magic pill! No wonder its so expensive- it helps with everything! (sarcasm) However, in the progression of the drug, it has made claims to benefit even non-psychiatric illness.
Bristol-Myers is the pharmaceutical wonder that patented the drug Abilify. The lowest dosage 2mg can cost around $24 dollars – $40.51 per pill. Here is the shocker Abilify, 20 mg costs $4.33 in Canada per pill and even more ridiculous- pharmaceutical companies are paying pennies to make Abilify and charge as much as they can get away with.
As discussed in my previous books and papers, companies like Pfizer are taking advantage of the system. In 2011 Pfizer reports making 67 billion dollars in revenues, while only spending 9 billion on research and development. That accounts for roughly 14% of their revenue.
Pharmaceutical industries generally acquire a product that might be profitable. However, they do not, in general, do their own research. Instead, many companies buy research papers that show success with the drug and if the drug is mediocre in success, the company will ask for the study to be repeated. This will allow an already developed medication to get good reviews the second-go-around and sell it to America (This is just part of research conducted by David Belk MD)
The patent for ability ran out in 2015, which, will allow other pharmaceutical companies to compete. What exactly does it mean for ability to become generic? This means lower prices as companies compete. They will no longer own the entire market.
But wait! They did not want to give up their 7 billion! The company that produces abilify staked claims that the drug had been approved for other treatments and this entitled them to remain under a patent. They fought legally with the FDA to keep their patent. Who could blame them? They had been scaling American’s and American’s did not even know it. Why not keep that gravy train going?