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Sanofi poised to lead pharma sales in 2012

French pharma company predicted to overtake Pfizer to become the global pharma sales leader in 2012

Sanofi will overtake Pfizer next year to become the leading pharma company by global sales, according to one analyst's predictions.

EvaluatePharma said it expects the French pharma company to take the top spot in 2012 and then hold it for the next four years, thanks to the mergers and acquisitions it has made in recent years.

The most notable of these was its $20.1bn deal to acquire US biotech Genzyme earlier this year, which saw Sanofi gain an integrated biologics unit and a lucrative presence in a number of orphan diseases. 

"The takeover of Genzyme, an aggressive cross-border move, revealed just how much the culture of Sanofi has changed in the last few years," commented Dr Jonathan de Pass, CEO of EvaluatePharma. "Coming just as Pfizer loses Lipitor, the acquisition should be enough to secure Sanofi the top spot for the next few years, our data suggest."

Cholesterol-lowering drug, Lipitor (atorvastatin), is one of Pfizer's biggest selling medicines and its patent is due to expire in the US by the end of this month, when sales will fall in the face of generic competition.

World's Top 15 Pharma Companies 

  Market rank RX & OTC pharma sales ($bn) Annual growth (per cent)
  2011 2012 2014 2016 2011 2012 2014 2016 2011-16
Sanofi 3 1 47.9 51.6 55.4 58.4  4
Novartis 2 2 2 2 49.5 49.9 52.2 54.8 2
Pfizer 1 3 3 3 54.1 49.8 49.7 51.9  (1)
GSK 5 6 5 4 39.3 41.2 45.6 50.9 5
Roche 6 4 4 5 39.1 44.1 46.3 49.0  5
Merck & Co 4 5 6 6 42.1 41.9 41.4 43.4 1
Johnson & Johnson 8 8 7 7 24.8  26.5 29.4 31.5 5
AstraZeneca 7 7 8 8 32.0  29.2 27.5 25.7 (4)
Teva 12 10 10 9 17.4  20.3 22.5 24.4 7
Abbott Laboratories 9 9 9 10 22.5 23.5 23.7 24.3 2
Bayer 11 12 11 11 18.9  19.7 21.7 23.4 4
Takeda 14 13 12 12 17.0 18.2 18.7 20.2  3
Bristol-Myers Squibb  13 16 17 13 17.1 14.2 15.4 18.9 2
Novo Nordisk  17 17 15 14 12.3 13.6 16.4 18.9 9
Eli Lilly 10 11 14  15 21.5 20.1 17.6 17.9 4

Source: EvaluatePharma

1st November 2011

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