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Price Tag Panic.

BLOCKBUSTER DRUG TAXOL, PRESCRIBED FOR LUNG, ovarian and breast cancer, as well as AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma, earned its manufacturer US$1.5 billion annually. But Bristol Myers-Squibb recently lost the patent, sparking a pricing scramble.

This year, not only is generic drug maker IVAX gearing up to produce a generic form of Taxol in the United States, there is also talk of allowing drug imports. These include brand name drugs produced by U.S. companies but sold at heavily discounted prices in Latin America.

Drug companies say that's bad news for their well-funded research and development programs. But patients and insurance companies herald the potential price tag relief.
 Price of Taxol (100 mg)
UNITED STATES $487
ARGENTINA $190
BRAZIL $129
MEXICO $118
VENEZUELA $109
SOURCE: Bristol-Myers Squibb
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Estevez, Matthew
Publication:Latin Trade
Date:Feb 1, 2001
Words:127
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