Pharma Execs Optimistic for 2015, Says Report

January 13, 2015

Healthcare and pharma executives have recovered their optimism in the past year, according to an EIU survey.

Healthcare and pharma executives have recovered their optimism in the past year, according to an annual survey of business sentiment conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

59% of industry respondents believe that business conditions will be better for their company in 2015, compared with just 39% in 2014. The proportion believing conditions will worsen has fallen to just 6%, from 22% last year. The results from the survey appear in Industries in 2015, sponsored by Accenture.

The turnaround in sentiment partly reflects the rapid rise in healthcare spending in Asia, as well as the expansion of the US health insurance system and the partial recovery in Europe, the report explains. Though patent expiries and pricing pressures continue to bite, many pharma companies have managed to find new sources of growth, whether through expansion in emerging markets, through judicious mergers and acquisitions, or through R&D successes.

Ana Nicholls, healthcare analyst at EIU commented: "The easing of spending restrictions in many markets, combined with stronger product pipelines and an upturn in corporate results, seems to have dispelled concerns that the healthcare model is broken. Nevertheless, companies will remain under pressure to prove the value of their products to payors."

Key trends for 2015 that the report highlights are:

  • Healthcare spending per head will rise by 4.8% in nominal dollar terms, but growth in the Middle East, Africa and Asia will be nearly twice that.

  • The rollout of Obamacare is proving profitable for many companies, and should underpin 5% growth in US healthcare spending.

  • Europe's healthcare spending will finally return to growth, although the cost-containment measures put in place during the financial crisis will act as a constraint.

  • After a slight lull in 2014, the coming year will see a pick-up in patent expiries. Even biotech drug sales will start to come under real pressure from biosimilars.

  • The global trend towards value-based healthcare is likely to gather pace, with the implementation of outcomes-based pay in the US and a series of pilot programs in China.

The EIU report is available at: http://www.eiu.com/industries2015

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