GSK CEO Andrew Witty, never at a loss for words, says that the R&D cutbacks and fall in R&D spending signal a fallout in the industry over the next several years. He says it's his belief that 5 to 7 years from today, you'll see a significant number of companies retreat from the pharmaceutical space, one way or another and only a few hardy ones will survive.
"There is tremendous opportunity for the few companies who solve the R&D equation," Witty told reporters. "It's the companies who deliver multiple new products, not one or two, that address material clinical needs of patients and address the economic needs of the payers--so they are fairly priced, if I can put it that way."
Witty is determined that GSK will be one of the winners. He's banking on a clinical pipeline that GSK expects by the end of 2012 will deliver more than 30 Phase III read-outs on 14 of its 15 late-stage assets -- and that the majority will be successful. As that happens, Witty is predicting that the shakeout will begin taking root. See Fierce Biotech.
I have no doubt there will continue to be consolidation among the players, and as penned here before that big pharma, biotech, small and large molecule, generic and innovator, biosimiar and biobetters will begin to blend within the same companies. The business will continue to become more global and international. But I don't think it will coalesce to the point where the number of players will be that dramatically reduced only 5 to 7 years from now.
Posted by Bruce Lehr July 29th 2011.