This month’s feature article is the first publication of the 2017 global pharmaceutical industry statistics from which the global and US rankings of the top 15 drug companies are derived. Comparisons are made with historical data to show how different company strategies have evolved. In addition, an analysis of the evolution of biopharmaceuical drugs has been made, together with a key sub-set, namely drugs derived from antibody technology, which now represent 12% of the entire market. Two more drugs joined the $100bn club in 2017.
Hardman & Co estimates that the worldwide prescription drug market had underlying growth of 1.2% in 2017 to $825bn from $814bn in 2016. This contrasts with the 3% growth figure that appeared in several annual reports.
The top 15 drug companies invested 20.3% of sales back into new drug development, spending $86.6bn out of the total spend of $117bn by 40 companies. The average R&D spend was $5.7bn, ranging from $9.2bn (Roche) to $3.3bn (Gilead).
The spend on drugs classified as biopharmaceuticals grew 7% to $197bn in 2017 and now represents ca.24% of the entire market. Within this category, drugs using antibody technology grew 16.6% to ca.$100bn.