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Encyclopedia > Pharmaceutical companies

A pharmaceutical company is a licensed drug company, licensed to discover, develop, markets and distribute drugs.

Most large pharmaceutical companies were founded in the 20th century, and derive their market share from a few well-marketing preparations. Examples are simvastatin (Zocor®), which was marketed successfully for twenty years by Merck & Co. Some of the reason for this is that the process of development, clinical trials and marketing is expensive and takes a long time. After this the company will usually be granted a patent for the drug for about 20 years. Drugs are initially sold at a high price. When the patent for the drug runs out, a generic is usually created by a competing company and released, causing the price to drop markedly.


Recently, some large companies have received a fair share of criticism. Examples are:

  • Accusations of forging or suppressing clinical trial results to maximise uptake of some medications;
  • Accusations of manipulating the market by showering doctors with free gifts, trips and other services;
  • Criticism for keeping the price of AIDS medication artificially high, limiting patients in the Third World in their therapeutic possibilities. Pharmaceutical companies on their side claim that lowering the price will not generate enough profits and can not be justified after their high development costs. Developing countries want to be able to produce and import cheap generic AIDS drugs for their relatively poor population, but since these drugs are generally developed by first world countries like the US, this is not without controversy and it has been claimed that selling cheap AIDS drugs to developing countries might cause pharmaceutical companies to focus their research on other, more profitable areas. In March 2001 South Africa was sued by 41 pharmaceutical companies for their Medicines Act that allowed for import and generic production of cheap AIDS drugs, the case was later dropped after protest around the world.

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Dr.ReddyÂ’s Pharmaceutical Company - Research & Development (149 words)
Pharmaceutical Company, pharmaceutical Research, generic pharmaceutical company, generic drugs, pharmaceutical company india, pharmaceutical india, drug discovery, pharmaceutical research, active pharmaceutical ingredients, biologics, custom pharmaceutical services, Dr Reddy's laboratories, Dr Anji reddy
Global Pharmaceutical Research & Development Company: Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd is a global pharmaceutical company specializing in the research and generic drug discovery, manufacturing and marketing of Generic pharmaceuticals (drugs) and other custom pharmaceuticals like active pharmaceutical ingredients, generics, biologics and more
The Best Companies to work for in India Survey 2008 ranks Dr. Reddy's among the Top Ten yet again.
Pharmaceutical company (856 words)
Most large pharmaceutical companies were founded in the late 19th and early 20th century, and derive their market share from a few well-marketed preparations.
Depending on a number of considerations, a company may apply for and be granted a patent for the drug or the process of producing the drug for about 20 years.
Pharmaceutical companies claim that lowering the price will not generate enough profits, and cannot be justified given these drugs' high development costs.
  More results at FactBites »



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