Who's on Drugs? SEO Research

Wired has an article about the changing face of the prescription drug market, noting that growth has slowed in established markets while new markets are booming. Worldwide spending has hit over 600 billion dollars, with 252 billion in sales in the US. They also point to Forbes slide show of the 10 best-selling drugs.

The markets those drugs serve probably have other up and coming drugs that few people have been publishing content for. With the kind of money the pharma corps spend on marketing (more here, here and here ) you can be certain that they will create plenty of demand for new drugs as patents for the old ones lapse. This press release (imshealth.com/ims/portal/front/articleC/0,2777,6599_3665_77491316,00.html) points out drug sales by region:

In 2005, North America, which accounts for 47 percent of global pharmaceutical sales, grew 5.2 percent, to $265.7 billion, while Europe experienced somewhat higher growth of 7.1 percent, to $169.5 billion. Sales in Latin America grew an exceptional 18.5 percent to $24 billion, while Asia Pacific (outside of Japan) and Africa grew 11 percent to $46.4 billion. Japan, the world's second largest market, which has historically posted slower growth rates, performed strongly in 2005, growing 6.8 percent to $60.3 billion, its highest year-over-year growth since 1991. That performance was fueled by growth in angiotensin IIs, antihistamines and oncology therapies, as well as significant uptake in geriatric-related therapies such as Aricept®, for treating Alzheimer's, and Cabaser®, Permax® and Bi Sifrol®, for treating Parkinson's Disease.

Pharmaceutical sales in China grew 20.4 percent to $11.7 billion in 2005, representing the third consecutive year that market has achieved 20+ percent growth. IMS estimates that China will be the world's seventh largest pharmaceutical market by 2009.

some blockbuster drugs will be losing their patents this year:

The number of blockbuster products (those with sales exceeding the billion-dollar level) reached 94 in 2005 compared with 36 in 2000 and included 17 new members of the billion-dollar club. While six blockbusters are expected to lose their patents in 2006, the launch of new products and continued growth of those already on the market will result in an increasing number of blockbusters over the next five years.

"The end of blockbusters is not upon us, despite what some analysts are saying," observed Aitken. "In fact, we expect that blockbusters will continue to be an important part of pharmaceutical market growth over the next five years, due to new uses for existing therapies, the emergence of niche/specialty products, and the ongoing demand for chronic disease treatments."

and some of the types of drugs currently in Phase III testing:

In 2005, more than 2,300 products were in clinical development, up 9 percent from 2004 levels, and up 31 percent over the past three years. A promising range of drugs are now in Phase III clinical trials or pre-approval stage, including 96 oncology products, 51 products for treating cardiovascular disease, 37 for viral infections and HIV, and 28 for arthritis/pain. Of the total pipeline, 27 percent of these products are biologic in nature; an all-time high. Biologics also experienced strong growth overall, adding $7.6 billion in sales to the global pharmaceutical market in 2005. Led by Amgen, Roche/Genentech and Johnson and Johnson, this sector grew 17.1 percent in 2005, generating sales of $52.7 billion.

Huge markets abound. Here are lists of:

Published: March 29, 2006 by Aaron Wall in marketing


March 30, 2006 - 5:25am

Interesting....but I thought your post was going to talk about how to do seo research on drugs/

March 30, 2006 - 6:35am

I thought I kinda spelled it out there... The stuff in the Phase III trials might be worth a peak. If you know what patents are expiring investors will presure those companies for other revenue streams. Either they will make a slight modification and call the new patentable pill a weekly controlled release pill or they will tout a new drug in the pipelines. Also the hint to look at emerging markets was included in the post.

I am not going to do in depth market analysis worth $10,000's though. If I enjoyed that market maybe, but I don't per say...was just trying to show how traditional business and marketing news could tie into SEO.

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