Big Pharma faces major slow down

March 5, 2010
Stephanie Sutton

Stephanie Sutton was an assistant editor at Pharmaceutical Technology Europe.

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe

Top pharmaceutical and biotech companies will witness a major slow down in sales growth between 2008 and 2014, according to business analysts Datamonitor.

Top pharmaceutical and biotech companies will witness a major slow down in sales growth between 2008 and 2014, according to business analysts Datamonitor.

The firm's report, Pharmaceutical Company Outlook to 2014, examines the forecast performance of the world's biggest pharmaceutical and biotech companies, which the report refers to as the PharmaVitae Universe. According to the report, prescription sales will rise only at a compound annual growth rate of 1.2 % up to 2014, compared with the massive 10.5% over 2002–2008. Datamonitor attributes the decline to generic competition and the large number of blockbuster brands that face patent expiry during the next few years.

Fortunately for some top companies, the outlook is a little brighter as some players are predicted to outperform the average growth rate. Datamonitor analyst Rebecca Whitham explained in a press statement: "Companies that have successfully diversified into the biologics sector of monoclonal antibodies and therapeutic proteins, which by comparison are relatively insulated from generic competition, will see a stronger revenue performance."

As an example, Datamonitor highlights Roche, which moved into the monoclonal antibody market early on and is expected to generate the largest sales increase of all the PharmaVitae Universe companies over 2008–2014.

There will also be hope for companies that target niche indications and areas of high unmet need, as well as companies that have developed their own generics presence, a strategy that will be particularly beneficial as the generic market grows. Whitman also acknowledged that M&As will have a role to play in driving growth. "Where M&As have acted as the PharmaVitae Universe's biggest growth driver over 2002–2008, this unknown quantity is likely to continue to play a key role in driving company performance going forward."

www.datamonitor.com