Just before I get onto the motorway I should mention an article by Alex Benerson in today's New York Times entitled "Lipitor or Generic? Billion-Dollar Battle Looms" which provides more background information for the Ranbaxy case. The key point of the article is that "spending on prescription drugs has jumped from US$40 billion in 1990 to almost US$250 billion this year, and continues to rise faster than overall inflation." Interestingly, the article also reports resistance by doctors and patients to migrating from to a generic even after a patent expires.
It is necessary to register to access NYT articles. Registration is free. It's as well to move quickly, however, because the NYT charges for archived material.