As the death toll from West Africa's Ebola outbreak hits nearly 540--a 60% mortality rate--drug development for the untreatable disease is lagging, largely due to lack of interest from Big Pharma and the relative infrequency of the disease.
The potential to mine electronic medical records for insights into disease prevalence, drug adherence, patient safety and a host of other areas has attracted a who's who of Big Pharma, with the likes of GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer all running programs. And now the FDA is pushing ahead with its plans by seeking access to a patient-level database.
Good news for drugmakers: Sales will grow more than 5% through 2020. More good news: Patent cliffs will be more like "rolling hills" in the years to come, thanks to the preponderance of biologic meds. Even more good news: Last year's crop of new drugs is the strongest in years, judging by the blockbuster-level expectations for most of them.
According to Eye for Pharma's latest Healthcheck survey of the drug business, 42% of respondents said they don't think pharma's image is getting any better among average folks, whereas a mere 19% think pharma's rep is improving.
Where have all the Big Pharma jobs gone? To emerging markets, for one. For another? The world's biggest drugmakers have shuffled their decks, with some shedding jobs and others gaining. Any guesses which? We'll get to that.
FDA actions against India's Ranbaxy Laboratories ostensibly are keeping U.S. consumers safer, but much poorer. The plant bans have also shined a spotlight on how complex drug laws in the U.S. can work against consumers' best interests.
The top 10 multinational drugmakers all cut their investments in marketing last year, Cegedim Strategic Data says.
The bad news is that drugmakers didn't increase their spending on marketing last year. The good news is that companies didn't cut that spending, either. According to a report from Cegedim Strategic Data, pharma companies spent just under $85 billion on their sales forces and various marketing channels in 2013, about equal to 2012 spending levels.
With so much M&A in the air, the lineup of top pharma companies will no doubt rearrange. So just for the record, which are the top drugmakers by market value today?
Big Pharma companies, like other corporate beings, spend millions on lobbying in Washington, DC. In fact, a handful of companies spent $1 million more each in the first quarter of 2014 than in the previous quarter.