Martha Rosenberg reminds us that: ” to be a blockbuster a drug has to
- be usable by almost everyone;
- be used every day;
- be used indefinitely;
- solve an everyday health problem like heartburn or high cholesterol;
- have a fun or memorable ad campaign;
- get social buzz;
- and be sold to a large number of people quickly.
The last qualification—quick sales to millions—is crucial because Big Pharma has a small sales window before a patent runs out. But it’s also dangerous because many risks don’t emerge until millions take the drug so the public serves as unwitting guinea pigs.
When risks can’t be ignored, even if the drug is selling briskly, the drug will be unceremoniously withdrawn and seldom mentioned again. Here are some blockbusters in the drug graveyard that Big Pharma hopes we will forget about.
- Darvon and Darvocet
- Baycol “