Worldwide prescription drug sales forecast to grow 6.3 percent annually

The combination of increasingly vocal politicians railing against US drug pricing, a weak global recovery, uncertainties created by Brexit, and the outcome of the US presidential race have all coalesced to create uncertainty for investors. However, for those willing to take a longer-term view, the outlook is more nuanced, with a projected compound annual growth rate of 6.3 percent in global prescription sales over the next six years according to the EvaluatePharma World Preview 2016, Outlook to 2022 report from life science market intelligence firm, Evaluate Ltd.

The annual report, which sets the industry standard for consensus forecasts for the life science industry, provides an overview of the sector including key trends in prescription drug sales, patent risk, global brand sales, market performance by therapy area, R&D spend, pharma innovation analysis and consensus forecasts to 2022.

“Most of this projected growth is driven by a number of new products that will come onto the market in the next seven years. However, there are several issues that could spoil this rosy picture of uninterrupted growth, including political scrutiny over pricing. The recent outcry over Mylan’s price increases for EpiPen – followed by the company’s repeated capitulations – show just how sensitive pricing models can be to political pressure,” said Antonio Iervolino, Head of Forecasting, Evaluate.

“As a result of this we expect companies to continue investing in pricing models strongly tied to real world benefits and consistently incorporate pricing and market access discussions at a much earlier stage in the clinical development process. So, while currently the industry does have plenty to celebrate, there are potential brakes on progress that could make the outlook much more mixed.”

World Preview 2016 Highlights:

  • Worldwide prescription drug sales predicted to grow 6.3 percent (CAGR) between 2016 and 2022.
  • $169 billion in additional prescription drug sales in 2022 to come from R&D projects.
  • Novartis and Roche to compete head-to-head for the title of worldwide prescription drug sales in 2022; Pfizer to challenge them following the Medivation acquisition.
  • Worldwide pharmaceutical R&D spend expected to grow by 2.8 percent (CAGR) to $182 billion in 2022.
  • Celgene and Shire forecast to record the fastest sales growth (CAGR) by 2022 with increases of 16 percent and 19 percent, respectively.
  • New drug approvals in 2015 reach a record 56 NMEs, topping 2014’s record of 50
  • Oncology remains the largest therapy area in sales with a 12.5 percent (CAGR) growth rate from 2016 to 2022.

The “EvaluatePharma World Preview 2016, Outlook to 2022” report, based on consensus forecasts from EvaluatePharma, can be downloaded at

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