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5 Stocks Leading the Generic Drug Charge

Between legislation and a wave of patent expiration, these pharmaceuticals are sitting pretty

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MYLAN185The breadth and depth of the Mylan (MYL) portfolio might be one of the industry’s most underappreciated drug portfolios. It’s not necessarily the best, mind you, but it is one of the most underappreciated.

Case in point: Mylan makes a version of omeprazole, or generic Prilosec (for ulcers and reflux), which was actually 2011’s third-best-selling generic drug. It also makes simvastatin, or the generic form of Merck’s cholesterol drug Zocor. Both have been on the market for a while now, and Mylan has proven it can push them into consumers’ hands.

Meanwhile, the FDA has all but told Mylan exactly how it can compete with asthma medication Advair — a GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) product — when its patent expires and the door is opened to generic versions in 2016. The Advair franchise currently produces about $8 billion in worldwide annual sales.

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