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Datamonitor Healthcare's latest sector analysis indicates that the pharma industry's 10 biggest companies will add $25.5bn in sales over the next decade.



Despite rising challenges and changing trends in healthcare provision, Big Pharma looks set to expand sales strongly over the next decade as it continues to adapt and identify opportunities for sustained growth.

That's the key takeaway from Datamonitor Healthcare's latest sector analysis - entitled Big Pharma Outlook 2026 – which predicts that the sector's top 10 pharmaceutical groups will add $25.5bn in sales in the next decade, generating $351bn overall by 2026.

Top Ten Who's Who

Using Informa's proprietary Pharmavitae Analytics of more than 400 products from the group of top 10 drug makers, Datamonitor Healthcare notes that the top 10 currently have 74 blockbuster drugs representing $172bn in revenue and predicts 36 more blockbusters will join the club between 2016 and 2026. However, 24 blockbusters will lose their status by 2021, with nine more out to 2026.

The ten drug makers assessed are Pfizer Inc., Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Roche,AstraZeneca PLC, Novartis AG,Merck & Co. Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly & Co.,and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

By delving deeper into the group's revenue trends, therapy area performances, and strategic drivers, the analysis examines how Big Pharma will need to navigate headwinds to steer towards stronger growth. The correlation between drug pricing and market access will remain a key aspect.

The DMHC report discusses criteria that will determine the best performing companies out to 2026, and identifies those likely to have leading market share gains - and which will lose market share within that period - across the US, the EU's top five economies, in Japan and across in the rest of the world (RoW), and in which specific therapy areas.

Roche Seen Top Dog By 2026

The pecking order within the top 10 will change, with US-based Pfizer retaining the top slot up to 2021 but conceding the number one spot to Swiss rival Roche by 2026, the report predicts, and explains why.

Oncology is predicted to maintain the largest proportion of Big Pharma prescription sales out to 2026, with Merck & Co's core immuno-oncology product Keytruda (pembrolizumab) becoming the highest selling product, with projected global sales at $9bn. In parallel, PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors will keep building momentum out to 2026, outperforming other drug classes. Big Pharma’s launch portfolio looks set to add $58.3bn in revenues out to 2025, it says.

Trends in deal activity cooled in 2016 but are likely to accelerate this year and beyond, the report says.

It notes that Big Pharma still has numerous headwinds to address out to 2026. The uncertainty surrounding macroeconomic conditions and a challenging payer environment has led to increased scrutiny on drug prices, with reimbursement being increasingly dictated by economic value as well as clinical benefits, making pricing perhaps the biggest issue facing the industry, especially in the US market.

Drug makers also continue to pass through waves of generic entry. The increasing adoption of biosimilars threatens market positions of some but also offers investment opportunity for others.

Strategic trends will continue to lead companies to focus on demonstrating strength within a particular market, it adds.

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