The pharmaceuticals market was worth $733bn in 2010. The top four market players (Pfizer Limited, Merck & Co., AstraZeneca, and GlaxoSmithKline) had a market share of 22.3%. Pfizer has been involved in many mergers and acquisitions. With some of these acquisitions came the rights to blockbuster drugs such as Lipitor (produced by Warner-Lambert) and Prevnar (produced by Wyeth).
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The largest generics market in Asia is China, where generics grew to account for 62% of the total domestic pharmaceuticals market in 2008, from 54% in 1999. By 2015, China is predicted to become the world's second largest pharmaceutical market .
In 2011, Lipitor, Zyprexa, Levaquin, Concerta, and Protonix lost their patents. In 2012, Plavix, Seroquel, Singulair, Actos, and Enbrel will lose theirs. These 10 drugs alone had US sales of $30.5bn in 2010.
Big Pharma R&D spending hit 18% of total revenues between 2001 and 2007, but productivity declined by 20%.
Your key questions answered
How is the generic pharmaceuticals market performing?
How has the loss of patents affected Pfizer's revenues?
How have pharmaceuticals companies reacted to the patent cliff?
How successful are current research and development efforts?