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S&P Equity Research Issues Health Care Sector Predictions for 2011
Date:1/13/2011

th.  Since many of the patents expire in late 2011, we expect the losses to have only a relatively small impact on the group in 2011, with the brunt being felt in 2012.  
  • We estimate that physician office visits declined 5% to 7% in 2010, as the uninsured population rose and even the insured delayed doctor visits to avoid rising co-payments and deductibles.  Assuming a stable environment and a belief that patients can only delay doctor visits and necessary procedures for so long, we expect stabilization and a modest recovery in doctor visits and procedures in 2011.  We believe the main beneficiaries will be healthcare service providers including clinical laboratories, diagnostic test manufacturers, and drug and medical device makers.
  • In 2010, the FDA approved 21 new drugs, down from 25 in 2009 and 24 in 2008.  We believe the lower number of approvals reflects the FDA's continued increased scrutiny on safety issues, and we expect much of the same in 2011.  Although FDA approval typically coincides with its panel's recommendation, recent history proves there are no guarantees, and we believe investors should not assume a drug's approval based on an FDA panel recommendation.
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers are increasing their focus on global emerging markets to provide impetus for top-line growth in coming years.  Factors spurring growth in these markets include as these countries develop, their populations becoming subject to ailments and conditions that typically affect developed nations.  These include poor health behaviors, such as drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking, and rising levels of obesity, which in turn can lead to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, respiratory ailments, and other maladies.  We believe these situations provide multinational pharmaceutical manufacturers with opportunities to tap large, new customer bases.
  • We believe generics will remain a strong sector in
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  • SOURCE Standard & Poor's
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