What will the pharma landscape look like after all those big, traditional drugs drop off the patent cliff? Here's a hint: Big Pharma might consider changing its name to Big Biotech.
By 2014, the biggest-selling meds will be biologics, according to an analysis from Evaluate Pharma. Taking the place of Pfizer's gargantuan drug Lipitor will be Roche's Avastin, a cancer med expected to account for $9.23 billion in 2014 sales. (Even when you factor in the recent trial disappointments.) The next five top sellers, in order, are expected to be Humira (Abbott Labs), Rituxan (Roche), Enbrel (Wyeth/Amgen), Lantus (Sanofi-Aventis), and Herceptin (also Roche). Notice Roche claims three of the top six spots--with drugs developed by the recently-acquired Genentech.
Evaluate also predicts that half of the top 100 drugs in 2014 will be biotech meds--a huge change from last year's level of 28 percent and 11 percent in 2000. No wonder Big Pharma has been chasing biotech so hard lately.
Still, regular old small-molecule meds won't be totally passé. Far from it. Even if biotech drugs take 50 of the top 100 slots, all the biologic drugs together in 2014 will bring in $169 billion, Evaluate predicts. Small molecule meds? More than twice that, at $406 billion.