With four days left until BIO 2012 in Boston, EvaluatePharma’s World Preview 2018 warns of excessive R&D spending, but patent cliff may “liberate” drug companies.  EvaluatePharma released a report on the pharmaceutical industry entitled “World Preview 2018: Embracing the Patent Cliff,” whcih includes analysts’ forecasts on which companies and products will come out as winners in the years ahead.

This report is critical for everyone in the pharma arena.  Lots of great info! The forecasts are based on EvaluatePharma’s coverage of the world’s largest 3,500 pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

The market for prescription drugs, based on the consensus forecast for the leading 500 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, will grow by 3.1 percent per year between 2011 and 2018 to reach $885 billion, according to World Preview 2018.

EvaluatePharma’s analysis shows that more than $290 billion of prescription drug sales are at risk from patent expirations during that time frame. As companies have worked to rebuild their pipeline, the pharmaceutical industry has spent $1.1 trillion over the last 10 years on research and development, according to the report.

“It is often said there is an R&D productivity issue, but is it just poor portfolio strategy and investment choices? Is too much money being spent chasing too few quality R&D projects?” asks Anthony Raeside, Head of Research. “The patent cliff in its own right may not be the problem, but rather the way management reacts to it.”

The World Preview 2018 report will be officially released at the 2012 BIO International Convention, held June 18-21 in Boston. A hard-copy Executive Summary of World Preview 2018 will be available at EvaluatePharma’s Booth 1421.

In addition to assessing forecast trends in prescription drug sales and R&D spending, World Preview 2018 also looks at therapy area growth and the performance of marketed and pipeline products. Among this year’s key findings:

Novartis will emerge as a clear leader in 2018, with sales forecast to reach $51.3 billion by that year. That’s $3 billion ahead of its closest competitors, Pfizer and Sanofi.

Gilead Sciences is set to climb the most positions within the top 20, moving up seven places to number 15 with prescription sales of $15.1 billion in 2018, thanks in large part to the company’s strong HIV franchise and impressive forecasts for GS-7977, its recently acquired development stage hepatitis C product.

Looking at which products will top the sales charts, Merck & Co.’s Type 2 diabetes therapy franchise, Januvia/Janumet, will reign with sales forecast showing a 10 percent compound annual growth rate between 2011 and 2018 to reach $9.7 billion in sales.

Gilead’s potential new hepatitis C polymerase inhibitor, GS-7977 — forecast to achieve $5.4 billion in sales in 2018 — is the highest ranked R&D product in 2018.

In this year’s report, EvaluatePharma has added, for the first time, a geographic analysis looking at the performance of the U.S., Europe and Japan pharmaceutical markets in 2011. The analysis reveals major market growth flat-lining in 2011, with little or no growth in the U.S., a decline in Europe, and modest growth in Japan.

Complimentary copies of World Preview 2018 are available for download here.

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