5 drugs headed for $1B or more in sales by 2020

Jun 19, 2015

Global prescription drug sales should reach nearly $1 trillion by 2020, thanks in part to FDA approvals of breakthrough drugs for cancer, hepatitis C and other diseases, a new report finds.

Global prescription drug sales should reach nearly $1 trillion by 2020, thanks in part to FDA approvals of breakthrough drugs for cancer, hepatitis C and other diseases, a new report finds.

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The FDA approved a record 50 new drugs last year and many of them are extremely profitable, according to the “Word Preview 2015” report from EvaluatePharma. Recently-approved drugs that the firm predicts will have $1 billion or more in sales by 2020 include:

#1. Hepatitis C treatment Harvoni from Gilead Sciences

#2. Keytruda for melanoma made by Merck

#3. AbbVie’s Viekira Pak for hepatitis C

#4. Otezla for autoimmune diseases from Celgene

#5. Boehringer Ingelheim’s Ofev for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

“Eight of the top ten new drugs approved in 2014 are forecast to have sales of more than $1 billion 5 years after launch,” the report stated.

Key prescription drug sales rose 4.9% globally in 2014, driven by a 8.9% surge in US sales. Novartis was the top pharmaceutical company in 2014, while Teva was the leading generic drug maker with sales of $9 billion.

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Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Merck and Sanofi will produce the highest sales between 2014 and 2020, according to EvaluatePharma. In addition, Actavis’s prescription drug sales are forecast to almost triple between 2014 and 2020, primarily as a result of its acquisition of Allergan in March.

Also in 2020, EvaluatePharma predicts that Humira, the anti-rheumatism drug from AbbVie, will be the leading US drug product with $8 billion in sales. Celgene’s Revlimid will likely produce the second highest sales in 2020 at $6 billion.

“Standing on the midpoint of 2015, the pharma and biotech industry looks as if it is in very good shape. The patent cliff is firmly in the rearview mirror,” the report stated.

Even though an estimated $197 billion worth or drug sales are at risk from patent losses, EvaluatePharma says the losses will be much less significant, thanks to new biosimilar drugs.

Drugs in the research and development pipeline are also promising, particularly Gilead’s potential new combination hepatitis C medication, according to the report. The global pharmaceutical research and development pipeline is valued at $493 billion.

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