Bayer pharma chief laments pricing pressures

Don't underestimate the economic downturn, Bayer's pharma chief says. Pricing pressures in the drug industry are intensifying because of the crisis, said Bayer Schering CEO Andreas Fibig (photo). In an article slated for German newspaper Tagasspiegel, Fibig wrote that the global economic slump has put a crunch on drug prices, especially in markets where patients have to pay for their own meds. Because of the pricing squeeze, he expects the pharma market to grow only about 2 percent to 3 percent worldwide this year.

There's been lots of news coverage about cash-strapped consumers cutting back on the pharma spending--by taking fewer drugs, cutting back on their dosing, or postponing refills. And that's just here in the U.S. Just last week, Datamonitor released a market forecast that predicted economic pressures would continue to force drug prices downward. Now, Fibig has confirmed it from the drugmaker side.

Of course Fibig hopes Bayer can grow faster than the market does overall. And the exec did highlight one bright spot for drug spending, at least on Bayer products: China is expected to deliver double-digit growth for the company this year. 

- read the Reuters story