Winning with Generics and Biosimilars in 2020


Published 02 July 2019


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Peter Wittner
Senior Consultant, Interpharm Consultancy, United Kingdom

We all know that the generics industry is an unpredictable environment that is constantly changing. Experience has shown us that we can predict anything – except the future! In the same way, biosimilars have provided us with some unexpected surprises - forecast of a limited number of competitors with limited price declines also proved to be wrong. 

It is probably also realistic to view the generics business as a Darwinian world where companies need to evolve to survive. Those that do not evolve will be overtaken or, even worse, be eaten by more efficient competitors that do know how to evolve. The motto in this Darwinian universe is "Evolve or become extinct"!

If we look at those companies that are now the market leaders, we can see that they have done just that – evolved by swallowing smaller competitors and diversifying into new areas in search of lower levels of competition. We can also see that, as in the jungle, even top predators such as Teva can make mistakes, overreach themselves, and suffer terrible indigestion by trying to swallow a target that was too big (Actavis) and that resulted in their suffering a US$6bn write-down in 2017.

So, here is the big question to which you want answers – how do you evolve in order to survive in the jungle? There is, of course, no single answer or strategic approach that is right for everybody.

Part of the process is for companies to constantly question what they are doing. For example:

  • Should you be expanding your product range – or expanding your geographical presence?
  • Is it time to consider contracting out more of your manufacturing – or should you be contemplating expanding your in-house production facilities instead?
  • Would moving into biosimilars be right for you?

What the course in February 2020 sets out to do is help you identify strategies that will allow you to identify new opportunities, let you grow in a sustainable manner – and of course help you to avoid being swallowed by a larger competitor in the Darwinian generic jungle!