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Frost & Sullivan: Pharma and Biotech Industries Headed Toward an Era of Reduced Profit Margins

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In the face of reduced profit margins for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, an effective financial management strategy is central to maintain sustainable growth.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan's ( Financial Assessment of the Global Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industry research evaluates the financials of public companies in the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and ranks organizations based on their financial and risk management.  This offers a comprehensive ratio analysis that includes profitability, activity (turnover), liquidity and solvency. The research identifies key trends and challenges that can impact the performance of industry participants over the next 12 months.

For more information on this research, please email Britni Myers , Corporate Communications, at with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country.

The main reasons attributed to declining profitability in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries are expiring patents, delayed approvals, the advent of generic versions of drugs, measures to contain healthcare spending, and the increasing number of participants in the same profit pool. A restricted environment for new product entry, rising prices, and lower acceptance of products in newer therapeutic areas will further squeeze profit margins in the long term.

"Companies with a diverse portfolio of drugs saw higher profitability in the pharmaceutical industry," noted Frost & Sullivan Financial Analyst Dr. E. Saneesh. "The long timelines and accumulating expenditures incurred before a drug is commercialized is making the biotechnology industry less profitable in recent years, even resulting in negative margins for companies that are smaller in terms of revenue."

The pharmaceutical industry has generally witnessed smaller margins due to increasing competition from generics, pricing pressures, and decreasing healthcare spending. In the biotechnology industry, companies within a low revenue range and with relatively new products witnessed negative margins because of the heavy investment in R&D, as well as selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A).

In both industries, companies with lower revenue had poor turnover ratios because of the huge investments made in assets and product development. In terms of cash reserve, smaller pharmaceutical companies, as well as large and small biotechnology companies, showed an increase in their cash reserve as a percentage of their assets.

Further, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors did not witness a great variation in the R&D-to-sales ratio in recent years. Despite a general decline in overall sales in both industries, R&D expenses have not considerably reduced.

"All these trends highlight the difficult times the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries are going through," concluded Dr. Saneesh. "To create sustainable growth, companies must undertake systematic and effective financial management strategies."

Financial Assessment of the Global Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industry is part of the Business and Financial Services Growth Partnership Service subscription. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

Frost & Sullivan's Business and Financial Services group serves clients around the world in all aspects of financial analysis, market research and monitoring, due diligence, idea generation, opportunity analysis, investment valuation, and other proprietary research.

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Financial Assessment of the Global Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industry

Britni Myers
Corporate Communications – North America
P: 210.477.8481
F: 210.348.1003
Twitter: @Frost_Sullivan
Facebook: Frost & Sullivan

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