After Lipitor falls off patent, Pfizer will fall out of first place in the pharma universe. Who'll take the crown then? Sanofi, thanks to its $20 billion merger with Genzyme. According to EvaluatePharma, Sanofi ($SNY) will hang onto the top slot at least till 2016, with the Swiss drugmaker Novartis ($NVS) trailing close behind.
Pfizer ($PFE) will be the only U.S. drugmaker in the top 5 by 2014, if EvaluatePharma's analysis holds true. U.K.-based GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) and Switzerland's Roche will occupy fourth and fifth places, while Merck ($MRK) will drop to sixth. Check out the report to see where AstraZeneca ($AZN), Teva ($TEVA) and Bayer will land.
The conclusions are based on EvaluatePharma's outlook for key drugs. Sanofi's pole position will depend mostly on sales of Genzyme's ($GENZ) rare-disease therapies, which have struggled in recent years because of manufacturing problems. The company is on its way to inaugurating a new manufacturing plant, hoping to then offer a more secure supply of those expensive niche meds.
Novartis' second-place spot hinges on growth from its multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya and cancer blockbuster Tasigna--plus its new eye care division Alcon--which together will have to make up the loss of patent protection on blood-pressure megadrug Diovan. Some new drugs from Pfizer should help the company hang onto third place even as Lipitor sales dwindle to $2 billion from $10 billion-plus, the report says.
Special Report: Pfizer - 10 Largest U.S. Patent Losses