Global Market Boom for Generic Drugs

Jan 24, 2012

The generic-drugs market is poised to experience strong growth as key blockbuster products go off patent, but companies looking to benefit from this will have to be careful about the product segments where they compete, according to a report from Frost & Sullivan.

The report, Generic Pharmaceuticals Market — A Global Analysis, explains that drugs worth $150 billion will go off-patent between 2010 and 2017, helping to propel the generic-drugs market from revenues of $123.85 billion in 2010 to an estimated $231 billion in 2017. However, as competition intensifies, generic-drug manufacturers will need to carefully consider their product segments and the appropriate time for market launch. Companies will also have to deal with increasingly stringent regulations and price-control measures from governments, mainly being driven as a result of the aging population and the prevalence of chronic diseases.

“Large multinational generic firms need to adopt a differentiated approach by opting for products with technologically challenging formulations, products which require significant regulatory support and products with limited availability of active pharmaceutical ingredients,” Aiswariya Chidambaram, a research analyst at Frost & Sullivan, said in a press statement.

According to the report, some companies have forged strategic alliances with branded pharma for the marketing rights and exclusivity to certain generic blockbusters, such as Lipitor and Crestor, among others. Many market-leading generic-drugs companies, such as Teva, Sandoz, and Mylan, are also increasingly focusing more on biosimilars, which provide a competitive edge and offer potentially huge profit margins. In addition, difficult-to-produce generic drugs and speciality products are also attracting greater attention. Aiswariya notes that, “Small and medium-sized firms should focus on products with relatively higher profit margins.”