Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Top Ten Drugs of 2016

EvaluatePharma just released their latest World Preview 2016, which projects prescription drug sales and R&D activity globally and in the U.S. The report is free with site registration.

I was especially intrigued by their predictions for the top 50 products in the U.S. in 2016. Below is a handy chart comparing the 2016 list with 2010’s top sellers.
  • The top 10 U.S. drugs in 2016 are projected to have total revenues of $31.0 billion, which would be $8.4 billion less than the top ten in 2010.
  • Rituxan, the projected #1 drug in 2016, wouldn’t even make the 2010 top 10 list after adjusting for likely product price inflation.
These forecasts succinctly illustrate the future of the pharma industry. The next-generation blockbusters will primarily be specialty products aimed at smaller patient populations than the mass-market blockbusters of yesteryear. Everything—commercial strategies, contracting, marketing, org structure—must evolve to compete in this new environment.


Here’s my summary of the top 10 best-selling drugs as reported on pages 20 and 32 of the EvaluatePharma report.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, commercial strategies for specialty drugs are much more complex than strategies for traditional drugs. The options for service, financial, and channel flows are highly varied and must be customized for each product.

BTW, the report also has lots of neat corporate and product projections for key markets such as oncology products, anti-diabetics, and anti-rheumatics.


EvaluatePharma predicts that Pfizer, Sanofi and Novartis will be competing for the position of largest pharma company in the world in 2016. (See page 7.) All three are predicted to have prescription sales of about $50bn in 2016. GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, and Merck will be in the next tier will sales of $42 to $45 billion.

Of course, they wisely avoid predicting any M&A transactions that would scramble this list. Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future.


  1. Anonymous in OhioJuly 19, 2011

    I wouldn't call Januvia & Lantus specialty drugs. 

  2. The Old SportJuly 19, 2011

    Niels Bohr.

  3. The Old SportJuly 19, 2011

    Paraphrased later by Yogi Berra

  4. AnonymousJuly 19, 2011

    The thing I'm wondering about is the level of risk for these specialty products.  Once they are top dogs, will this increased attention bring up more questions about cost/benefit value? Considering that a good chunk of their sales will be to public payers, will the public tolerate deficit spending for drugs that prolong the lives of baby boomers by a few months so that their grandchildren can inherit the cost at some multiple of the initial price?

  5. You are correct, that was a typo. I edited the table. Thanks.