At the start of 2014 the Chinese vaccine sector was rocked by the failure of three leading suppliers to obtain good manufacturing practice certification. Sinovac Biotech escaped unscathed from the rule tightening and this week posted a 17% jump in fourth-quarter sales.
There has been talk in recent years about how the industry should expect fewer blockbusters and how drugmakers need to look toward selling more products for fewer dollars, euros, pounds or yen. But it is the big sellers, the blockbusters--no, megablockbusters--that drug execs aspire to develop. And a look at the top 10 best-selling drugs globally can't help but impress with its big numbers.
First of all, each of the top 10 best-selling drugs in the world knocked out more than $5.5 billion in sales last year, according to data provided by the market intelligence gurus at EvaluatePharma. Together, the top 10 turned in $76.38 billion in sales. Yes, that's more than $75 billion in sales from just 10 products. One other drug, Eli Lilly's Cymbalta, topped the $5 billion mark, but having lost its patent in December, it's headed for a serious nosedive this year.
Any industry that's undergoing as much change as biopharma is always looking for leadership. Old marketing practices are being blown apart, R&D is being subjected to emergency surgery, drug prices surge ever higher, spurring a growing backlash from payers.
In this constantly shifting panorama you'll find a group of executives who are forging new paths for others to follow. This year, the third for Fierce, we present the men and women whose influence is being felt across the industry.
Influence, of course, isn't always a force for good. But it can be. To be truly influential in an industry, you need to be able to persuasively explain new methods that can exert a powerful hold on colleagues in the same global field. Some of this year's group have excelled in that regard.
We hope you enjoy this year's report. And please offer any suggestions you may have for next year's project on the influentials.
Chatting with the public is not in pharma's comfort zone. Drugmakers are adept at the one-way communication known as direct-to-consumer advertising, and some of them deal well with the media. Some even know how to work with patient groups. Back-and-forth with doctors? Pharma's daily bread.
But put your average, everyday drug company in the middle of a public conversation, and it freezes up. In fact, of the 50 largest drugmakers worldwide, only half even dabble in social media. Only 10 use all three of the oldest, biggest social sites--Facebook, Twitter and YouTube--according to a new study by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. And within that small group, few are actually interacting with patients and the public. Click here to read the full report >>
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Pfizer's approval pathway for its meningococcal B vaccine just got shorter. On Thursday, the FDA designated the candidate, dubbed rLP2086, as a breakthrough therapy, which will speed its trip through the regulatory process--and put it in a head-to-head battle with Novartis' Bexsero.
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