We don't need to tell you that we're in the middle of a sea change in pharma: Away from mass-market blockbusters and toward more specialized drugs; away from mature drug markets and toward emerging ones; and so on. And that the Big Shift comes as Big Pharma loses some of its biggest drugs to generic competition.
But how is all that going to affect individual drugs? Reuters helpfully offers some data on that. Industry observers' consensus sales forecasts for the world's top 10 drugs this year--and in 2014--illustrates just how the pharma world is changing. The top three drugs in 2014 won't be as big as the top three in 2010. The future No. 1 Avastin (cancer), with a projected $8.9 billion in sales, doesn't even match 2010's No. 3, GlaxoSmithKline's Advair (asthma/COPD), with a projected $9 billion.
In addition, two of 2014's top 10 are diabetes drugs, Sanofi-Aventis' Lantus ($7.1 billion) and Novo Nordisk's NovoLog ($5.7 billion). None of 2010's top 10 are diabetes treatments. That change says as much about the spread of diabetes around the world--recently we heard that it's growing lickety-split in one of pharma's markets of the future, China--as it does about changes in the pharma market.
And then there's the fact that all of the top three in 2014 are biotech drugs: Avastin, Abbott's Humira for arthritis ($8.5 billion), and Pfizer/Amgen's Enbrel for arthritis and psoriasis ($8 billion). The top three this year is projected to be older-style meds: Pfizer's cholesterol megadrug Lipitor ($11.7 billion), Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb's anticlotting med Plavix ($.9.6 billion), and Advair.
We'll let you compare the lists from here. Let us know if you see any patterns we missed.
- read the Reuters Factbox