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Industry analysts say Norvir price hike will double profits

Industry analysts say Norvir price hike will double profits

Pharmaceutical analysts project that the recent 400% price hike on Abbott Laboratories' protease inhibitor Norvir will ultimately double the more than $1 billion in sales the drug has made since its 1996 launch and will generate an additional $70 million in profits this year alone, the Chicago Tribune reports. Abbott is expected to generate $2 billion in Norvir sales over the next decade. Jeffrey Leiden, president of Abbott's pharmaceutical products group, says the price hike on the drug was justified because Norvir had been undervalued. He also says profits from sales of the drug will help fund research and development into other medications, including anti-HIV drugs. The company faces lawsuits from AIDS advocacy organizations over the price hike, and is being investigated by the attorneys general of Illinois and Texas for possible antitrust and anticompetitive practices. A nonprofit group, Essential Inventions, also has asked the federal government for a license to produce cheaper generic versions of the drug while Abbott still maintains that drug's patent. A hearing on the request was held late last month by the National Institutes of Health.

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