One of the key drivers behind Pfizer’s $68bn acquisition of Wyeth last year, a need to satisfy its apparent obsession with maintaining its position as the industry’s biggest seller of pharmaceutical products, looks like it is paying off, new consensus forecasts released by EvaluatePharma in its World Preview 2016report reveal. With prescription drug sales of $47.1bn in 2016 Pfizer will come out on top, just ahead of Merck & Co at $46.3bn, another of last year’s mega-mergers with its $41bn purchase of Schering-Plough.
However, Pfizer and Merck’s lofty rankings mask the fact that their mega-mergers were defensive plays against precipitous patent cliffs as sales are forecast to remain flat or decline over the next seven years. Conversely, Abbott Laboratories is set to record an impressive 7% annual growth in prescription sales, driven by strong demand for its rheumatoid arthritis therapy Humira (Humira set to steal Avastin’s crown, May 3, 2010). A surprise entrance into the top ten league table is generics giant Teva with 7% annual growth, generating sales of $20.8bn in 2016, leaping ahead of more traditional big pharma names like Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly and Amgen (see table below).
|WW Prescription (Rx) Pharmaceutical Sales||WW annual sales ($bn)||Market Share||Market Rank|
|Rank||2009||2016||CAGR (09 - 16)||2009||2016||2009||2016|
|2||Merck & Co *||41.6||46.3||+2%||6.5%||5.9%||2||2|
|8||Johnson & Johnson||21.3||24.8||+2%||3.3%||3.2%||8||8|
|10||Teva Pharmaceutical Industries||12.6||20.8||+7%||2.0%||2.7%||15||10|
|* Proforma data in 2009 (Pfizer+Wyeth / Merck+Schering-Plough)|
Changing the perception of TevaThe appearance of Teva in the league table of prescription sales is further proof, if any were needed, of the extent the patent cliff will hurt the traditional big pharma groups while providing a massive boon for generics players (Vantage Point - boom time for generics as patent cliff looms large, May 18, 2009).