martes, 2 de octubre de 2012

"Big Pharma": Y pensar que 20 años si es mucho...

The top pharmaceutical companies of 2012 that focus on human prescription drugs, with some diversification, depending on the company, in consumer-healthcare and animal-health products, are different from leading companies of the 1990s. In 1990, several top players were not stand-alone drug companies but instead were the pharmaceutical units of multinational chemical companies, reflecting the historical marriage between the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. As the strategic value of pharmaceuticals as a business grew, so did merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, and with it, divestments of chemical and agrochemical concerns and M&A of pharmaceutical businesses that would eventually create the pharmaceutical powerhouses of today. Today, the industry is again at another crossroad as it contends with generic-drug incursion and reduced R&D productivity, thereby facing challenges by which the top companies have responded by increasing biologic-based drug development, targeting growth in emerging markets, and beginning to apply diagnostics in drug development.

The 1990s and early 2000s
More than two decades ago in 1990, Merck & Co. was ranked as the number one company in prescription drug sales, followed by Bristol-Myers Squibb, which had moved into the number two spot with the 1989 merger of Bristol-Myers and Squibb. Glaxo was ranked third and SmithKline Beecham fourth, following the merger in 1989 of Philadelphia-based SmithKline Beckman with the UK-based Beecham Group. In 1995, Glaxo and Burroughs Wellcome merged to form GlaxoWellcome, and in 2000, GlaxoSmithKline was established through the merger of GlaxoWellcome and SmithKline Beecham (see Tables I, II). Other leading pharmaceutical companies in 1990 were not stand-alone entities, but instead were the pharmaceutical businesses of multinational chemical companies: Ciba-Geigy (Swiss), Hoechst (German), Sandoz (German), and RhÔne Poulenc (French). The spinoffs of the pharmaceutical units from these chemcal companies and subsequent M&A resulted in the creation of larger pharmaceutical-based companies.

Building critical mass in the 2000s
Pfizer’s ascent from the 14th ranked pharmaceutical company in 1990 to the number one company in 2000 was achieved by acquisition, most notably the acquisition of Warner-Lambert in 2000, for which Pfizer had outbid American Home Products . In 1996, Pfizer had formed a comarketing agreement with Warner-Lambert on Lipitor and with its acquisition of Warner-Lambert in 2000, Pfizer secured its top prize in Lipitor, which was to become the top-selling prescription drug for Pfizer and the industry during the 2000s. With the acquisition of Warner-Lambert, Lipitor became one of eight blockbuster drugs (defined as drugs with sales of $1 billion or more) for Pfizer in 2000. The others were: Norvasc, Zoloft, Neurontin, Celebrex, Zithromax, Viagra, and Diflucan.

The decade of the 2010s
What will the next decade bring? In looking at the list of the top 15 global pharmaceutical companies in 2011, we see two key trends already represented: the rising role of generic drugs in the prescription drug market through the positioning of the generic-drug compay Teva Pharmaceutical among the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies and the growing importance of biologic-based drugs through the rise in the rankings of the biopharmaceutical company Amgen as well Roche and Sanofi following their respective acquisitions of the biopharmaceutical companies Genentech and Genzyme
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