The idea that European pharmaceutical companies are set to outperform their US counterparts should be welcome news to politicians,
who are eager for the pharmaceutical industry to continue to invest in Europe. According to the European Federation of Pharmaceutical
Industries and Associations (EFPIA), the European pharmaceutical industry represents 19.2% of total EU private R&D expenditure
and 3.5% of EU manufactured exports (12). For several years, EFPIA has been lobbying European politicians to move away from
harsh costcontainment approaches and to create a friendlier environment for the pharmaceutical industry, particularly as some
companies have chosen to make new investments elsewhere, such as in the US or emerging markets. Between 1990 and 2008, for
example, R&D investment in the US grew 5.6 times, compared with only 3.5 times in Europe (12).
Whether Sanofi's surge to the top of the rankings, followed by some of its European colleagues, represents a true strengthening
of European pharmaceutical competitiveness is hard to say. Pharmaceutical companies remain unhappy with operating conditions
in Europe, even if they have their origins in the region. Over the next couple of years, it will be interesting to see whether
European companies such as Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Roche decide to increase their investment in Europe now that
their future financial performance looks promising.
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4. Evaluate Pharma, "Pfizer to lose crown to Sanofi as world's biggest drug maker" (2011).
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5. M. Alazraki, "The 10 Biggest-Selling Drugs That Are About to Lose Their Patent" (Daily Finance, 2011).
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http://www.thepharmaletter.com/, accessed 9 Dec., 2011).
10. K. Grogan, "Sanofi signs deal with Pfizer to sell generic Lipitor" (PharmaTimes, 2011).
http://ww.pharmatimes.com/, accessed 9 Dec., 2011.
11. A. Torsoli, "Sanofi May Be Too Optimistic in Emerging-Markets Forecast" (Bloomberg, 2011).
http://www.bloomberg.com/, accessed 9 Dec., 2011.
12. EFPIA, "Improving Europe's competitiveness" (2011).
http://www.efpia.org/, accessed 9 Dec., 2011.