Sector News

Emerging markets still beat elsewhere for Big Pharma growth, with AstraZeneca in the lead

June 23, 2015
Life sciences
Growth in emerging markets may be slowing, but pharma sales there are still outpacing those everywhere else. And if recent numbers are any indication, AstraZeneca is topping its rivals for emerging markets expansion.
 
That’s the message in a new report from Bernstein & Co. analysts, who looked at sales growth for 7 Big Pharma companies over the past few years–and the first quarter of 2015 in particular.
 
AstraZeneca’s sales in the developing world jumped by 14% over the last four quarters–four percentage points ahead of next-place companies Pfizer and Sanofi–and beat all comers quarter-by-quarter as well. Much of that growth came in China, which now accounts for almost half of AstraZeneca’s emerging markets sales.
 
Slowest growth? That would be Merck & Co., with 6% over the last four quarters, and Eli Lilly & Co., with 4% for Q1 alone. No word on GlaxoSmithKline, which had suffered after a bribery scandal in China; the U.K.-based drugmaker stopped breaking out emerging markets sales at the end of 2014. Bristol-Myers Squibb doesn’t specify its emerging markets sales either.
 
Overall, the 7 companies averaged 8.8% growth in emerging markets for the first quarter and 9.4% over the past four. That’s certainly less than the double-digit growth rates of several years ago, given increasing pricing pressures in pharma and an economic slowdown overall. But compared with growth elsewhere, it’s a windfall. In the U.S., these companies’ sales slipped by 1.3% over the past four quarters and grew just 2% in Q1. Other international markets suffered even more, with 2% slippage for the four-quarter period and 3.9% for Q1.
 
Which drugmakers depend most on emerging markets? Sanofi reaps the biggest share of its revenue–32%–in those countries, with AstraZeneca (27%) and Novartis  (26%) close behind. It should be noted, however, that AstraZeneca’s big share partly depends on the fact that its U.S. sales have been dropping, thanks to Nexium generics. Pfizer and Roche each count 24% of their sales in the developing world, while Eli Lilly relies the least on emerging markets, with 16% of its sales there.
 
Despite the slowdown in emerging markets, investing there still makes sense, Bernstein’s Tim Anderson said in the investor note, particularly as a tactic for long-term growth in branded sales. “Despite being a lower margin business (margins are about half that of developed markets), multinational drug companies are more than covering their costs,” Anderson says, “and their collective commercial presence in EMs sets the stage for the longer-term, gradual, yet inevitable shift from older off-patent medicines to more lucrative, novel, on-patent medicines.”
 
By Tracy Staton
 

comments closed

Related News

November 28, 2021

Founder-led biotech is making space for ideas—and diverse leaders—where it didn’t exist before

Life sciences

Decades ago, the founder-led biotech was rare and considered the tougher path to follow. Now there is a trend of founder-led biotechs that have risen in prominence in recent years, going from startup to well known with lightning speed. Scientists-turned C-suite occupants know their technology inside out. They’ve got credibility both at the bench working with their research teams and in the boardrooms selling their future products.

November 28, 2021

Pfizer to become $100B behemoth next year thanks to COVID-19 drug and vaccine: analyst

Life sciences

Pfizer’s revenue could reach $101.3 billion in 2022, with major contributions coming from the company’s BioNTech-partnered COVID vaccine and an antiviral therapeutic that has shown stellar clinical data, SVB Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges projected in a Monday note to clients.

November 28, 2021

GlaxoSmithKline takes aim at sick pay access inequities with microgrant program and new campaign

Life sciences

In a survey commissioned by GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer health division of 2,000 working people in the U.S., almost 70% admitted to clocking in while sick, often because they couldn’t afford to lose a day’s pay. Black and Latina women were 10% more likely than white women to shun taking sick time for fear of fallout from their boss, according to the company’s 2021 Temperature Check Report.

Send this to a friend