Statistics released this week have revealed that the worldâs top 15 multinational pharmaceuticals companies are struggling to remain profitable. News has hit the multibillion pound industry hard and the race is on to find study ground.
The pharmaceuticals industry has amongst the highest profit margins of any industry and rakes in billions of pounds globally. And arguably with good reason for the need to find preventive measures and cures for todayâs disease is more urgent than ever. Despite consistent growth for many years, however, 2015 was a year of devastatingly poor revenues by comparison.
The aggregate net revenue of the 15 global pharmaceuticals businesses fell fallow at $501bn in 2015. And whilst the eye-watering figure might prompt some to cast aspersions on just how at risk the industry has found itself, it is the first year the sector has grown so little. To put it in perspective, their aggregated profit (before tax, interest etc.) increased by just 4.5% to $138 billion â the worst performance in decades.
Novartis remained in the lead with sales of $49.4bn. In fact, 2014âs top five held on to their rankings last year: Pfizer; 2nd, Sanofi; 3rd, Roche 4th, and Merck; 5th.
Have we reached a plateau in just where the industry can go? The industry has bravely hit back with an adamant, No. The sector has, instead, criticised changes in government policy as well as drawing attention to the increasingly competitive marketplace which the pharmaceutical industry has since become. The public will undoubtedly be aware of many of the cuts facing the sector in light of some highly public hospital closures and cuts to community pharmacies. Companies have added, too, that cuts are prevalent behind the scenes. Also to blame are recent adverse exchange rates as well as increased investment in R&D which has yet to pay back.
The leading group â comprising a range of vaccine, consumer healthcare, diagnostic, medical devices and animal health specialists â nevertheless remains positive for the future of the industry. Investment in pioneering research will always provide a return eventually, and new ways to combat the lack of support from government are found every day.