This month’s feature article is the first publication of the top 15 drug companies in the 2015 global industry ranking and how this has changed over the last decade. In trying to analyse the changes that have taken place, we have looked at different strategies used by management teams. Many companies are featured, but there is emphasis on GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), AstraZeneca (AZN) and Shire Pharmaceuticals (SHP). In addition, we have analysed how drugs derived from antibodies have driven market growth and now represent just over 10% of annual industry sales.
Although the focus of Hardman & Co is generally on companies with micro- to midsized market capitalisations, it is important to understand how those companies are faring within the industry in which they operate. Given that all the major pharmaceutical companies have reported 2015 results during the last month, we thought this would be an opportune time to update the global ranking and see how various companies’ strategies over the last decade have played out. As always, it has thrown up some very interesting findings!
Moreover, when we write research reports on our contracted companies, it is important to outline the commercial market opportunity that the often disruptive technology of the small company is targeting. While it usually constitutes only a very small part of the overall report, the data within those 1-2 pages are often dynamite.
Pharmaceutical sales are defined as anything that requires a prescription (Rx) and excludes OTC/consumer products. However, it does include generic drugs. Market shares have been calculated from initial estimates that the global prescription drug market was valued at $786bn in 2015. All our data, going back as far as 1988, have been complied consistently and are based on ex-factory sales reported by companies and converted to US$ using average exchange rates. Therefore, it is very robust.