Worldwide drug sale forecasts fall as pricing pressures mount

Forecasts for global sales of pharmaceuticals have declined for the first time in a decade as continuing pressure on prices in the key U.S. market has caused analysts to moderate revenue expectations, according to a report on Tuesday.

Evaluate Pharma, which compiles consensus numbers based on analysts' forecasts, said worldwide drug sales were now expected to hit $1.06 trillion in 2022, down from $1.12 trillion predicted a year ago for the same period.

It is the first time in 10 years that total drug sales have failed to beat the previous year's forecast level.

"The continued political and public scrutiny over pricing of both the industry’s new and old drugs is not going to go away and we are starting to feel the impact now," said Antonio Iervolino, Evaluate's head of forecasting.

He highlighted disappointing sales of some new drugs such as the expensive injectable cholesterol treatments Repatha and Praluent, from Amgen and Sanofi.

Drugmakers are under fire over prices around the world, but the impact is particularly notable in the United States, where a number of companies are now promising moderation after years of price hikes that often ran well above inflation.

Evaluate said Novartis, Pfizer and Roche were all in contention to be the company with the highest worldwide prescription drug sales in 2022, although Novartis seemed to have a slight edge.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Susan Thomas)

Tue Jun 20, 2017


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