The well-chronicled problem of a lack of strong recent product innovation, combined with greater incursion of generic drugs, paints a pessimistic outlook for prescription-drug sales by the pharmaceutical majors. A recent analysis by the market-research firm Datamonitor estimates that growth will slow to 1.3% to 2015 for the branded prescription pharmaceutical industry's leading companies. In contrast, between 2003 and 2009, these same companies had sales growth at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.1%. Sharp declines in branded sales following the loss of patent exclusivity will drive the decline in growth.
Datamonitor projects that Bayer, Novartis, Roche, and GlaxoSmithKline will be the only Big Pharma companies generating above average growth through the period to 2015. Of 43 branded companies examined in detail by Datamonitor, 11 are expected to report negative sales CAGR during the period to 2015. Of those expected to deliver positive sales CAGR, only six will exceed the 7.1% average shown between 2003 and 2009.