According to E&K Health Consulting’s market analyses, the Basel-based pharmaceutical company Novartis now leads the world ranking of pharmaceutical companies. Based on sales of prescription-only medicines in 2013, Novartis takes the lead for the first time. Novartis has thus overtaken US company Pfizer, which is struggling with patent cliffs on its block buster products. Novartis showed strong growth in Europe and the US, while the sales of Pfizer in both regions declined considerably. Compared with the previous year, the second Basel giant, Roche, moved two slots up and now lies in third position. Roche is profiting from its portfolio of expensive, biotechnologically produced cancer medicines, sales of which showed above-average growth. According to E&K Health Consulting’s predictions, Roche will likely move up to second place in the next 5-6 years, while Novartis will maintain its lead. The two Swiss companies, by far, invest the most in research and development and they have well-stocked pipelines of promising lead products. This is mirrored in the stock markets with Roche and Novartis ranked as 10th and 13th most valuable companies with stock values of 256 and 245 billion US dollars respectively.
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