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Patent expiries and emerging pharma markets to fuel $100bn generics growth

Global generics market expected to reach $231bn by 2017, according to analysts

The global generics market is expected to reach $231bn by 2017, led by patent expiries on blockbuster drugs and the growth of emerging markets, according to a new report.

Analysts at Frost & Sullivan also highlighted impact of government cost-cutting measures and say sales of generics will grow by over $100bn, up from the $123.85bn generated in 2010.

Their Generic Pharmaceuticals Market – A Global Analysis report that generics manufacturers will benefit from the patent expiries of blockbusters, with revenues worth $150bn.

Heading up these are Pfizer's Lipitor, which lost its patent protection in the US at the end of 2011 and is due to lose exclusivity in Europe in May 2012.

Lilly will also be hit hard by generic competition to its antipsychotic Zyprexa (olanzapine), with revenues of the drug expected to fall by $3bn for 2012.

The recession and changing priorities in healthcare are also expected to affect the generics market, with governments increasingly looking for the most cost-effective treatment.

Frost & Sullivan research analyst Aiswariya Chidambaram said: “The increase in the prevalence of chronic disorders, newly reported diseases and ageing populations have resulted in tremendous pressure being placed on governments to implement cost containment measures and curb rampant healthcare expenditure.”

Regions such as India, China, Brazil, Russia, Turkey and South Korea, were identified by the research as areas of 'huge potential' that still remains untapped by the generics industry.

Leaders in generics recognised in the report included Teva, Mylan and Novartis' generics division Sandoz.

All companies reported healthy sales growth for the first nine months of 2011, with Teva's revenue up 8 per cent, Mylan's increasing by 15 per cent and Sandoz seeing sales grow by 16 per cent.

An increasing focus on biosimilars from these companies was also highlighted in the report, with the market expecting to grow significantly in coming years.

At the beginning of this year, executive director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) Guido Rasi said final guidelines on biosimilar monoclonal antibodies are expected in March or April, updating existing efforts.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also recently published details of a user-fee programme for  generic and biosimilar medicines.

The programme should benefit the generics industry by increasing resources to handle a backlog of more than 2,000 generic drug applications and creating an approval pathway for biosimilars.

17th January 2012

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