Show Summary Details
Page of

Modern Blockbusters 

Modern Blockbusters
Chapter:
Modern Blockbusters
Author(s):

Dieter Schmidt

and Simon Shorvon

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198725909.003.0004
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 September 2020

Five modern antiepileptic drugs have reached the fabled blockbuster status (more than $1 billion sales per year), albeit for treatment of not only epilepsy but for other disorders of the central nervous system too. These drugs generated huge profits, and the chapter asks, how were they discovered and are they worth their money? The history of the five blockbusters—levetiracetam, lamotrigine, topiramate, gabapentin, and pregabalin—provides an interesting study of chance, science, wrong ideas, and finance, and most importantly luck. The discovery of the antiepileptic effects of some of these compounds was stumbled upon by simple good fortune, and others barely escaped an early demise during an unpromising early development. Despite the commercial success, no study has shown any of these drugs to be any more effective than older drugs, yet they made billions. This chapter examines how industry could do this and what the drivers are for success.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.