Things haven't been pretty for Dendreon since its highly anticipated cancer vaccine Provenge stumbled out of the gate. Now that disappointing sales, increased competition and cost-control struggles have taken their toll, the Seattle-based company is up against a mountain of debt. But CEO John Johnson won't be around to help right the company's course.
The vaccine market has long been dominated by the Big 3--Sanofi, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline--with Pfizer and Novartis trailing the trio on the list of revenue-generators. But things are changing at the top. The "go big or go home" mentality has sent Novartis packing, with the Swiss company selling GSK most of its vaccines unit earlier this year as it made moves to exit the space. Pfizer, on the other hand, is scouting for ways to bulk up, earlier this month listing AstraZeneca'svaccine assets among the benefits of a potential merger.
For now, though, behind Pfizer's market-leading Prevnar 13, it's jabs from the leading triumvirate that bring in the bulk of vaccine sales. Merck, in particular, took four of the 10 top-selling spots, with Glaxo and Sanofi nabbing two apiece.
But like the list of vaccine heavyweights, the list of top-performing products has seen some shuffling as of late. Take a look at our table of those that enjoyed the most top-line success in 2013--assembled using data from EvaluatePharma--and if you'd like, compare it with the first-half data from the year prior.
The 10 best-selling drugs of 2013
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.
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