Some drugmakers work for years to take one of their meds from launch to blockbuster status––a journey defined by competition, the market, branding and a dash of luck. But even for pharma's biggest whales, growth-minded executives have a question: What have you done for me lately?
Driven by billions of dollars of R&D, some of the most lucrative drugs in the world drive 10-figure growth each year through a mixture of new indications, greater market access and good old-fashioned doctor word of mouth.
Thanks to the team at EvaluatePharma and its Vantage 2020 Preview report, we here at FiercePharma have compiled a list of top 10 drugs by estimated sales increase in 2020––a group comprising some of the most successful launches in recent years, with a few surprises thrown in as well.
Leading the list, those who have monitored the red-hot immuno-oncology field would expect, is Merck & Co.'s Keytruda. With a rash of newly approved indications and continued dominance in the lung cancer arena, Keytruda is due for a big year in 2020, according to Evaluate, with a possible $3.29 billion in new sales up for grabs.
Filling out our list is a who's who of recent blockbuster launches, including Novo Nordisk's GLP-1 star Ozempic, Gilead Sciences' bestselling HIV three-drug cocktail Biktarvy and Roche's multiple sclerosis fast-riser Ocrevus.
But the newcomers aren't the only stars on our list.
Take Bristol Myers Squibb's Revlimid: After 15 years on the market, the blood cancer blockbuster could be in for a big year after scoring a combo FDA approval in May alongside Roche's Rituxan to treat follicular or marginal zone lymphoma. Once a Celgene bestseller, Revlimid could leverage that approval and Bristol's bigger marketing team to the tune of an additional $1.17 billion in sales this year––up to $11.99 billion.
Some of the drugs included here are also likely to succeed in 2020 based on doing what they do exceptionally well.
That's certainly the story for AstraZeneca's lung cancer blockbuster Tagrisso, which relies on its indication in EGFR-mutated non-small cell lung cancer. Tagrisso has not only taken that indication to $3 billion-plus in annual sales but has also established itself as the standard of care along the way. Evaluate forecasts Tagrisso could grow by an even $1 billion in 2020.