If you thought pharma's patent-cliff problem was tough, wait till you see what public-sector changes and economic troubles have in store. Datamonitor is predicting that healthcare reform will have a "negative impact" on the industry's growth. Plus, global economic pressures will continue to throw more patents onto the rolls of the uninsured--deflating branded drug sales. Still-tight credit markets will end up forcing more cash-strapped small firms out of business. And drugmakers will have to justify the costs of their meds in an unprecedented way as governments intensify pricing pressures.
For more cheery predictions, check out the Datamonitor report. And for a bird's eye view of how those problems stand to play out on the government side, see Reuters' coverage of a coming cost crunch at the U.K.'s National Health Service. Recession and rising costs will put the squeeze on the NHS budget, big-time, over the next five years, an NHS report predicts. From 2011 to 2015, the NHS will have to slash costs, cut jobs and services, and possibly cap new-drug spending. The shortfall in hard numbers for those five years? A whopping $25 billion.