Big Bio/Pharma Companies’ Sales Bolstered by COVID-19


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to temporarily increased drug sales for biggest bio/pharma companies in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020. This increase over sales forecasts for Q1 2020 was due to COVID-19-related purchases, as people stockpiled in preparation for reduced medical access in the lockdown, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Madeleine Roche, MSc, Associate Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, comments “Companies with fewer marketed drugs that are relying predominantly on the COVID-19 asset in their pipeline are gambling a lot on the drug going to market, whereas other big Bio/Pharma companies may win in the long term due to their diverse portfolios of drugs.”

An analysis of GlobalData’s Pharma Intelligence Center Drug Sales and Forecast Database reveals that global sales in Q1 2020 for companies that were not developing a COVID-19 drug saw an 8% increase when compared to the archived global sales forecast for the same time period. In contrast, companies that were developing a COVID-19 drug only saw a 3% increase.

Notably, companies with a COVID-19 drug in their pipeline during Q1 2020 saw a smaller market cap decrease of 5.8% compared with 12.6% for companies without a COVID-19 drug in the same timeframe.

Roche concludes: “Overall, it is likely that the real winners in big bio/pharma will be the companies that focused on bolstering their existing marketed drug portfolio rather than those that joined the race to develop a COVID-19 asset.”

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