Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is one of half a dozen drugmakers that have been rolling out generics of Eli Lilly's top-selling blockbuster Cymbalta. The others are going to roll past the Israeli drugmaker after it recalled more than 1 million bottles of the antidepressant.
There has been talk in recent years about how the industry should expect fewer blockbusters and how drugmakers need to look toward selling more products for fewer dollars, euros, pounds or yen. But it is the big sellers, the blockbusters--no, megablockbusters--that drug execs aspire to develop. And a look at the top 10 best-selling drugs globally can't help but impress with its big numbers.
First of all, each of the top 10 best-selling drugs in the world knocked out more than $5.5 billion in sales last year, according to data provided by the market intelligence gurus at EvaluatePharma. Together, the top 10 turned in $76.38 billion in sales. Yes, that's more than $75 billion in sales from just 10 products. One other drug, Eli Lilly's Cymbalta, topped the $5 billion mark, but having lost its patent in December, it's headed for a serious nosedive this year.
The earnings reports for the biggest of Big Pharma are all in. Bayer reported last week, making it possible to see how they stacked up as they came into the new year. There are no big surprises. Pfizer and Merck, with ongoing patent issues and reorganizations, saw their positions fall a couple of notches, and AbbVie, having been spun off from Abbott Laboratories at the beginning of the year, didn't quite make the top 10. Its disappearance allowed Eli Lilly to make the list. It also helped Bayer HealthCare move up a couple of notches.
After the major patent crashes of 2012, last year was more of a transitional period. Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly and Bayer saw their revenues rise, although only J&J and Bayer had an appreciable change. Bayer's pharma revenues, combined with its consumer health unit, saw revenue growth of 7.6% based on dollars. J&J's number was up 6.7%, driven in large part by its pharma division. The others were flat or had growth of less than 3%. Read the full report in FiercePharma >>
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