An unprecedented cycle of drug patent expiries is putting financial pressure on big pharma as previously rock-solid revenue streams begin to rapidly shrink.

Lipitor, Zyprexa, Plavix and Seroquel are just four of the biggest-selling drugs to have recently gone off-patent

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Lipitor, Zyprexa, Plavix and Seroquel are just four of the biggest-selling drugs to have recently gone off-patent, with other major treatments set to follow in the months to come.

Companies are trying to offset plummeting sales by cutting back on R&D, as well as focusing on other drugs and emerging markets.

So it’s good news for patients waiting for affordable medicines, but tough times for pharma companies looking to protect the bottom line. Pharmaceutical Technology’s infographic illustrates some of the most pronounced sales drops experienced by companies facing the patent cliff.

For a more detailed breakdown of these effects, check out Drug Development Technology’s expired drugs round-up.