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Pharmaceutical Key Trends 2010 - The patent cliff dominates but growth opportunities remain

Pharma faces a number of key resistors to growth including the impending 2011 patent cliff which is set to erode $78 billion in global branded sales from drugs facing patent expiry over the 2010/14 period (plus $32 billion from continued erosion of already expired brands). Price cuts, reimbursement restrictions and growing regulatory pressure are further set to limit sales growth going forward.

Annual sales growth of pharmaceuticals in the emerging markets is already double-digit, providing a key opportunity for Pharma. Revenue streams in these markets can be derived from launching branded off-patent drugs, branded generics, and local brands owned or licensed by the acquiring pharma company.

Pharma is moving away from the "me-too" and increasingly genericized primary care market towards more high value biologic therapies in secondary care as well as more niche markets; markets with little or no existing competition, and which despite their smaller size (in terms of patient numbers) are still commercially attractive.

To maintain profitability in the face of slowing sales to 2014, pharma companies have implemented a number of cost-cutting measures (in addition to strategic repositioning and diversification strategies) in order to boost profitability going forward.

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