The growth in the sale of generics growth slowed to 3.6 percent in the 12 months ending in September, compared to 11.4 percent in the prior year, according to IMS Health, a market-research firm. By comparison, the global generics market, which now stands at $78 billion in sales - had posted double-digit percentage growth in recent years.
"But in 2008, despite robust volume increases, we are seeing the first significant decline in sales growth as manufacturers increasingly compete in fierce price battles within most of the world's major markets," Murray Aitken, an IMS senior vp, says in a statement. “This trend is very apparent in markets like the U.S. and U.K. as generics companies contend with aggressive competition and cost-containment measures enforced by both private and government payers.”
The US, which is the world’s largest generics market with 42 percent of global sales, saw a 2.7 percent sales decline in the twelve months ending September 2008 while volume increased 5.4 percent during the same period. Generics now account for 63.7 percent of the total US pharma market volume. The US generics market is currently valued at $33 billion, compared with $34 billion last year, reflecting declining prices and fewer blockbusters losing patent protection in 2008, according to IMS.
The top 10 generics companies currently hold a 47 percent share of the generics market worldwide. The three leading generics manufacturers are Teva with 11 percent market share, Sandoz with 9 percent, and Mylan with 8 percent.