Pharmaceutical Executive -Pharma 50

Jun 13, 2014, 09:58 ET from PHARMACEUTICAL EXECUTIVE

NEW YORK, June 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- PHARMACEUTICAL EXECUTIVE magazine's June cover ranks Pharma's 50 top global pharmaceutical companies by revenues.

PHARMACEUTICAL EXECUTIVE'S June issue features the annual review of the top 50 biopharmaceutical companies in industry sales—a standard benchmark of success that has remained surprisingly static since the magazine has began ranking the 50 largest players back in the April 2000 issue. Over these 14 years, just three companies—Merck (in 2000), Pfizer (from 2001 to 2013), and Novartis (this year) —have snagged the No. 1 position.

This year, however, much of the real action has taken place well below the top, particularly among those middle-ranked companies which have achieved the scale to compete globally but where size has not yet proved a distraction against the bottom line.

Any Surprises?

EDITOR WILLIAM LOONEY ON PHARMACEUTICAL EXECUTIVE'S PHARMA 50 COVER STORY :   Pfizer, the one company most associated with the "mega merger" strategy, has ceded its position at the very top of our list for the first time since 2002. It traded places with last year's number two, Novartis, whose management recently made the switch from broad diversification to a "grow to get small" strategy that eschews the blockbuster model for the development of numerous drugs for smaller target populations—and where specialization around science and unmet medical need is more determinative than market size and reach. Equally indicative is the steady ascent of Roche, to third place from fifth last year, as its single-minded focus on oncology and the diagnostics that deliver evidence to prove value continues to make inroads with payers and patients alike.

The top 10 revenue producers on this year's list spent more than $60 billion on R&D, yet most of the more interesting new therapies continue to spring from the middle-range of companies, below the top rank. And the resource gap is stark.

The one new entrant to the Pharma 50 this year, South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare, managed to rack up just south of $3 billion in global sales, mostly in hotly contested emerging country markets, while spending a trifling $1.6 million on new drug R&D—approximately the same as what our top-of-the-league player, Novartis, spends every 90 minutes, every day of the year. All you sizeocrats and scaleanistas take note: Could it really be how you spend that counts?

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For more information: contact: Marylyn Donahue, 212-951-6742

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