Pharmaceutical industry: Without a Blockbuster anything goes


Almost 500 billion euros have implemented the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world in the past year. The most successful come from the USA and Switzerland. How are the Germans?

The pharmaceutical company in the world to grow only slowly. 2018 you put 460.8 billion euros, just 0.9 percent more than in 2017. A study by the consulting firm EY, which has taken the 22 largest companies in the industry under the magnifying glass shows. The operating profit of these companies, however, decreased by 1.8 percent to almost 151 billion euros.

The study also shows that the industry is developing at two speeds. The Top 10 were able to increase sales and profit more than the companies in places 11 to 22. Among those representatives of – Bayer (14th place with 16.8 billion euros in sales), Boehringer Ingelheim (18th place with € 12.6 billion) and the Darmstadt-based Merck KGaA (22nd place, with 6.3 billion Euro) are also the three German industry.

Taken together, they lost at least 0.3 percent sales and two percent for operating earnings. However, Boehringer Ingelheim was able to increase operating profit by 16.7 percent, while Bayer earned 10.5 percent and Merck 8.6 percent less.

The manufacturer of Viagra remains by far the highest revenues of the pharmaceutical group in the world

So the Germans are beat, while in the Top 10, seven companies from the USA and three from Switzerland, Roche, Novartis and Sanofi, are to be found. Pfizer from the United States remains with the equivalent of 42.4 billion euros in sales at the top.

What was the “pharmacy of the world”?

The authors of the study, however, are not of the opinion that the pharmaceutical location of Germany, once the “pharmacy of the world” was now at risk. Although there were problems with the product pipeline, but the German companies are innovative and future-focussed oriented, said Jürgen Peukert, a Partner of EY. Also Germany stand still for a extreme quality consciousness.

In fact, the German companies are in the research and development front: Merck KGaA is even 27 per cent of its turnover in the development of the world number two, Boehringer Ingelheim is 8. These investments are likely to pay off in a few years.

Bayer declined here. However, it is considered in the research expenses, the overall company, because the Takeover of the American agricultural chemical company Monsanto play into this. On the current problems of Bayer, following the Acquisition of agri-chemical company Monsanto, the study is not, however. But at least Bayer in the pharmaceutical industry with its blockbuster growth, with drugs so that more than a billion turnover in the year to contribute.

Blockbuster to bring billion

Here are the American and Swiss companies are leading the way, they offer many medicines in the field of cancer research and immunology. With blockbusters in this Definition, pharmaceutical companies of 2018 earned nearly two-thirds of their sales.

Bayer fell back on the expenditure for research and development, but still has some Blockbuster

However, cell and gene therapies should, in future, gain importance, to believe the EY experts. Because the Trend is away from drugs for the mass to personalized medicines. Although more expensive in development, would offer but the chances of healing after a short period of time. The spare of the economy, according to the result of the cost of a long treatment. This Trend requires but also a higher digitization and networking of the industry, the study said.

Data are China’s Chance

This could be the Chance for China to distinguish themselves in this area. Because so far they played in the industry is not a big role, says Jürgen Peukert of EY. With the data in China of free and bulk available, products can be with high precision is developed.

Not only that determines the future of the industry: The pharmaceutical companies continue to develop to health-care providers, the analyze platforms, health data and so the exact fit of services for your patients can create.

These Trends have also recognized the German companies. In this area, such as the health care group Fresenius is already a leader. He developed no pharmaceuticals in the strict sense and is not recorded therefore in the study of pharmaceutical companies. However, the other companies went with their high investment in the right direction, according to the study.