Kinase inhibitors form the largest class of novel anti-cancer drugs. To date, more than twenty kinase inhibitors have been approved for clinical use. Lengthy patent rights keep the cost of these new anti-cancer drugs high. In order to anticipate the introduction of generics we have reviewed the patent expiry and the indications of kinase inhibitors approved for use in Europe and the United States. Most of these drugs are currently used in the treatment of several types of leukaemia and their patent protection will only expire after more than a decade. Interestingly, effective patent protection after market introduction varies widely between products, but also between the EU and the US.
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