09 de maig 2014

The forthcoming systemic drug industry?

While reading WSJ this week I found that big changes are happening in the pharmaceutical industry. We all know that the former message was: if the industry business model is broken, the best is to manage its decline (John Kay FT dixit). I also explained such trend in this post. Consultants predicted 5 alternative strategies, now the 6th is in place.
The trend is focused towards a new industry structure after the failure of the two parts model: innovative and generic. WSJ says:
A wave of mergers and acquisitions is reshaping the global pharmaceutical industry. Many drug companies are narrowing their focus, dropping out of noncore businesses and bulking up where they have the size and expertise to generate significant sales growth.
The deals would leave fewer competitors with larger revenue streams in each segment of the drug business, from prescription medicines and vaccines to drugs for livestock and pets.
 After the failure of the standard innovative model throught patents, the alternative is to concentrate on rare diseases, and on highly profitable market segments -low volume and high profit-. Concentration is taking place also in commoditizated markets (generics).
Such a level of market concentration should lead to competition policy concerns, since the rivalry is not at industry level, it is at therapeutic group level. Unfortunately regulators are on vacation again. Maybe one day we will complain about a systemic industry that some of its parts may collapse and creates larger risks than returns, but it will be too late.

PS .Def: Systemic risk can be defined as the likelihood and degree of negative consequences to the larger body. With respect to federal financial regulation, the systemic risk of a financial institution is the likelihood and the degree that the institution's activities will negatively affect the larger economy such that unusual and extreme federal intervention would be required to ameliorate the effects

PS. Pharma megamergers, do they work?
PS. Reinhardt, as clear as ever in his blog: Congress and the Belief That Human Life Is Priceless