PharmExec Blog

Pharma Forecast 2020: Cold Comfort

Price Waterhouse Cooper’s “Pharma 2020: From vision to decision” parses a mix of gloomy and glowing scenarios that reflect the fickle, delicate nature of today’s industry. On the one hand, innovations in other areas such as mobile technology promise to breathe new life into pharma with cutting-edge initiatives. On the opposite end, stark fiscal realities and the coupling of stale R&D methodologies to an antiquated managerial culture suggest a dire need for company reinvention.  Below are some of the more noteworthy trends and predictions mentioned in the report.

-By 2020, at least 20% of the world’s population will be obese, and 13% or more will be 60 years or older.

-Pharma will lose about $148 billion in revenues as a result of the patent cliff and generics eroding branded medicines between 2012 and 2018.

-There is a compliance crisis…SEC filings made by top pharma companies show that eight face charges of corruption in foreign markets.

-ACA reform provisions are expected to cut the industry’s profits from brand-name drugs by $112 billion over the next ten years.

-65 Accountable Care Organizations to date are up and running, and this figure is predicted to double within the next year.

-The UK plans to implement compulsory, “value-based” pricing for all new drugs in 2014.

-Canada is looking at the idea of a pan-national body to negotiate drug prices as a way to lessen buying power discrepancies between provinces.

-$210 Billion a year is wasted on overuse or misuse of drugs and procedures.

-Companion diagnostics will be required for approval of most specialty medicines by 2020.

-Gilead’s tenofovir (part of a first-line treatment for AIDS) is in China’s sights for compulsory licensing.

-The major domestic companies in the BRIC economies will strengthen control over local generics markets.

-Some of BRIC’s big players will use profits from generics to eventually develop their own brand or patented medicines.

Despite such a bleak forecast, the report predicts “a golden era of renewed productivity and prosperity.” It recommends that above all, corporations should focus on collaboration with other players and academia, offer real-time outcomes data to establish value of medicines, reinvigorate corporate ethics standards, and use new procedures and technologies to revolutionize R&D. The message can be further condensed to something along the lines of: “Trim the fat and get with the times.”

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