Pharmaceutical research, development, and marketing are not limited by national borders. The larger of these companies are global players, so I thought I would look across the ocean to see what some of the major European pharmaceutical giants are up to.
Sanofi (SNY) is continental Europe’s largest pharmaceutical company and the third such largest in the world by revenues from prescription and over the counter pharmaceutical sales. It is traded as ADR’s on the NYSE, and each ADR is the equivalent of two actual shares. Based on sales forecasts for it and its competitors, Sanofi will become the world’s largest pure drug company either this year or next.
Sanofi in 2011 sold 30% of its product in Europe, 27% in the United States, and the remaining 43% across the rest of the globe. 84% of its revenues were from human pharmaceuticals and health, 10% from vaccines, and the balance, animal health.
Sanofi, like many of its peers, is on the wrong side of its “patent cliff.” In 2011, the company missed $2.85 billion in sales from medications coming off patent versus 2010. Since, 2008, a handful of drugs that have lost protection have cost about $5.7 billion. This year, blockbusters Plavix and Avapro come off patent as well.
Sanofi has been harder hit by patent issues than any other large pharmaceutical company, aside from Pfizer (PFE). But unlike that company, Sanofi has largely been able to offset those losses with growth in under-served, developing countries, along with a long string of massive acquisitions. The most recent of those was its 2011, $20.1 billion purchase of American bio tech firm Genzyme.To continue reading, click here.