Interesting Times We’re Living In
There’s a legend that the Chinese say “May you live in interesting times”—and mean
it as a curse. Well, all I can say is that things aren’t dull these days.
As I note in our Top 50 Pharma Companies report, however, there’s still good news
to celebrate. Revenue for that sector of the industry is not only up, but it gained even
more in 2016 than in 2015. Drug prices are strong. Total deal amounts are up. Al-
though NDAs were down, they’re picking up again this year over 2016. M&A activ-
ity was not robust, but that’s probably because the industry has seen a lot of consoli-
dation already over the last few years, and the mergers and acquisitions have mostly
led to healthier, growing companies.
Moving over to our report on Evaluate’s Data Kit for 2017, you can see that the outlook for the next five
years is generally positive, with Compound Annual Growth Rates (CAGRs) rising across the board, and
some significant growth anticipated in a number of script and OTC product areas.
Of course, as of this writing the whole industry is holding its breath to see what happens inside the
Washington beltway with respect to healthcare legislation. But, as I also note in our Top 50 report, we
enjoy a pretty solid heritage of both governing and financial markets in this country. Even when major
upheavals occur, as we experienced in 2008 when the housing bubble burst, our systems and leadership
have the capability of dealing with the crisis so that we don’t suffer the tragic consequences you often see
in other countries without these strong institutions.
I’ve spent many years observing this industry, and from my position as an executive recruiter and
publisher I see and hear numerous points of view about where we’re headed. We are often portrayed as
representing 1/3 of the US GDP. But we also represent a significant portion of the worldwide GDP. As a
result, we continue to be a major force in world affairs, and I would say mostly for the good.
I don’t mean to be overly sunny about healthcare. There are always problems to be solved, and we try to
identify them and offer advice from leaders in the industry. But, on the whole, I continue to be proud
that we work alongside some of the finest people I know—especially in these interesting times.
And always, please keep the feedback coming. It all goes to making the magazine better for all of us.
Cari Kraft, Publisher
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