Pharma manufacturers expect growth in a crappy economy

Buried deep in a new survey of mid-level manufacturers and distributors is this gem about what pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers expect in the next year. "The Biotech, Life Sciences & Medical Equipment sector anticipates sales growth at home and outside the U.S., with increase estimates to be 12 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Growth is expected despite the impending 2.3 percent excise tax that medical device manufacturers will have to pay starting Jan. 1, as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." The survey was conducted by consulting and tax services company McGladrey. Less than half, (46.7%) of the 924 respondents across all industries feel positive about the U.S. economy right now, down from nearly 60% in the winter of 2011-12. Not surprisingly, nearly all (93%) are trying to lower costs by becoming more efficient, with 57% saying they also are working with suppliers and/or customers to improve their processes and costs. In the realm of working with customers to find extra cash, Citi just put out a report saying the biggest pharma players, like Pfizer ($PFE), Merck ($MRK), Roche ($RHHBY) and Sanofi ($SNY) could improve their cash flow by $33 billion if they quit paying their bills faster than they collect their receivables. Survey report | More