Will Senator Kohl Thwart Drugmakers’ Strategy for Survival?

Erik Greb PharmTech editorMakers of small-molecule drugs are in treacherous waters. The Scylla of generic-drug competition rears on the horizon, ready to bite into innovators’ profits. At the same time, companies’ research-and-development productivity seems to have been sucked down into Charybdis. How will drugmakers survive these perils? Read more »

Big Pharma, We Hardly Knew Ye

Erik Greb PharmTech editorBig Pharma’s sales forecast is not likely to improve anytime soon. Consulting firm Bain and Company predicts that the top 25 drug companies’ annual sales growth will be no more than 1% through 2016. To compensate for reduced revenue, investors are urging manufacturers to cut expenses that do not add value. One such expense, in many investors’ eyes, is research and development (R&D). Read more »

Big Pharma and Buyer’s Remorse

Erik Greb PharmTech editorTo make up for weak pipelines, and to take arms against a sea of generic-drug competitors, many large pharmaceutical companies have pursued mergers and acquisitions. This strategy began to gain popularity about 10 years ago, and the industry’s new motto seems to be “When the going gets tough, the big get bigger.” Has this strategy improved drugmakers’ pipelines or bottom lines? Read more »

Is Big Pharma Stifling Innovation?

Erik Greb PharmTech editorBig Pharma has offered many explanations for its anemic pipelines. All of the easy drugs have been discovered. Patent law (or another particular form of regulation) stifles innovation. The economy is forcing us to retrench. Although these explanations may be plausible, they all lay the blame elsewhere. Could Big Pharma’s own actions be discouraging research and development (R&D)? Read more »

Leaner, Meaner R&D

Erik Greb PharmTech editorA sizeable chunk of Big Pharma’s sales will fall off the dreaded patent cliff before the year is out. Patent expirations will allow competitors to market, and patients to buy, generic versions of branded drugs. A renewed focus on discovering and developing new therapies would seem to be the obvious solution for Big Pharma. Yet at least one observer predicts cuts in research and development (R&D) spending throughout the industry. Read more »

Bugbear Turned Booster

Erik Greb PharmTech editorPharmaceutical companies can no longer take strong growth for granted, and CEOs and shareholders are lowering their expectations about future performance. The industry’s global sales growth likely will be limited to 1.3% until 2015, according to Joe Dixon, a spokesperson for Datamonitor. Compare this anemic figure to the 7.1% growth rate that manufacturers enjoyed from 2003 to 2009, and you’ll see little reason for joy in drugville. Read more »

Will 2011 Be the Year of Innovation?

Erik Greb PharmTech editorThe confetti from the New Year’s celebrations has settled, and drugmakers are busy planning their activities for 2011. Some people make New Year’s resolutions in hopes of bettering themselves or adopting good habits. After its recent disappointments, the pharmaceutical industry likely will resolve to improve its research and development (R&D) efforts. Read more »

How Cloud Computing Is Aiding Pharma

Julian Upton Pharm Exec EuropeRecently, I spoke to R. Arun Kumar about the wider applications of cloud computing. Arun Kumar is Vice President and Head of the Global Life Sciences Business Unit at Infosys, an IT, business consulting and outsourcing services provider. Read more »

Novartis Could Apply Minds and Math to R&D

Erik Greb PharmTech editorLast Monday, I argued that renewed investment in research and development would be the pharmaceutical industry’s surest route back to prosperity. An investment that Novartis (Basel) made a few days later indicated that the company seems to agree with me. What’s more, the investment will create new jobs in the US. Read more »

Eli Lilly: the Pharmaceutical Industry’s Everyman

Erik Greb PharmTech editorWall Street analysts gave Eli Lilly (Indianapolis, IN) executives the third degree last Thursday when the company presented its third-quarter results. Lilly’s revenue had increased only 2%, mostly because it had raised its prices. Although demand for its products had stayed flat, the company boosted its profits by 38% mostly through layoffs and cost-cutting measures. The patents on many of the company’s top drugs (e.g., Zyprexa and Actos) will expire in the next few years, however, and no new drugs seem poised to replace them. Analysts wanted to know how Lilly would weather the storm. Read more »

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