Novartis

Two pharma giants are suing each other over their migraine drug

This is an illustration of a large yellow and pink pill on a blue background with abstract rectangles floating around.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Amgen and Novartis jointly developed and sold the first FDA-approved drug to prevent migraines, which hit the market last year. But now their alliance is crumbling and they're suing each other.

The big picture: Everyone is so mad. These pharma giants are throwing every legal punch possible because there is so much money at stake.

Pharma's research budgets are usually bigger than its profits

Data: Company filings; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

The biggest drug companies generally spend more money on research than they keep in profits — although their profits are still healthy.

Why it matters: Drugmakers often invoke their research costs as they try to fend off any limits on their prices, and that spending isn't insignificant. But the industry's steady profit margins are still an attractive target for critics.