19 May Amgen CEO says Pharma's face threat of biosimilars
The chief executive of Amgen Inc (AMGN.O) forecast on Monday that “smart” biotechnology companies may be able to retain up to half the sales of their drugs once they face competition from cheaper so-called biosimilars.
Kevin Sharer, speaking to investors at Deutsche Bank AG’s annual healthcare conference, said he believed that longer- term, some biotechnology companies “can sustain 30 percent to 50 percent of cash flow from products if they’re smart competitors.”
He said that was considerably better than conventional medicines facing generic competition, meaning pills made of chemicals combined together rather than grown from living cells — as is the case with biotechnology drugs.
Conventional drugs can lose up to 90 percent of their sales within a year once they face generic competition, in part because many companies often begin selling heavily discounted copycat formulations. By contrast, relatively few companies are now capable of making generic forms of biotech drugs, referred to as biosimilars or biogenerics.
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