As the death toll from the Ebola virus in West Africa climbs to 135 people, a vaccine to combat the deadly virus remains years out of reach.
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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FDA and EMA requests for more data on hepatitis B candidate Heplisav have set Dynavax Technologies back time and again. Now, Dynavax is embarking on a new trial it hopes will address some of those safety concerns.
After years of struggles and months of speculation, Novartis is finally kissing its vaccines unit goodbye. As part of a company-wide revamp, the Swiss drugmaker will send the division to the U.K., where GlaxoSmithKline will be waiting with open arms to take on a vaccines business that will give it an edge in meningitis and bolster its pipeline.
When a U.K. advisory committee reversed its earlier guidance and recommended the country's National Health Service add Novartis' meningitis B vaccine Bexsero to its national immunization program, it did so on condition that the NHS secure a "cost-effective price" for the jab. And now, it seems the country and the Swiss company may have different ideas of what that price should be.
Now that the European Commission has officially approved a two-dose Gardasil regimen for early teens, Merck and Sanofi will see the number of shots per patient fall. But that doesn't mean they'll necessarily take a sales hit, with the move potentially expanding overall access and providing a bump both drugmakers could use.
Sanofi's dengue fever candidate is on the verge of regulatory applications after 20 years in the lab and more than $1.4 billion spent on R&D. Now the pharma giant has forged a new collaboration to help assess the jab's postintroduction effectiveness.
Dr. John Porter, formerly the U.K. medical team lead for Pfizer, will become Novartis' medical affairs director for Northern Europe.
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Lombard Medical revived plans to go public with a revised stateside IPO. The news comes less than two weeks after the company decided to postpone its public offering, citing poor market conditions.
France's bioMérieux reported a rise in quarterly earnings of 3.3%, compared to the first three months of 2013, to $512.50 million.