Successful marketing of "blockbuster drugs" has provided the pharmaceutical industry with impressive double-digit economic growth over the last three decades. This economic success can be explained by the on-going development of technological methods for drug discovery, which have made it possible to alleviate the symptoms or even heal major common illnesses, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes or cancer. Recently, however, research into these small molecular drugs, whose effectiveness is based on the concept of symptom-oriented medicine and is the basis of the "blockbuster model", seems to be incapable of further development. Parallel to stagnation in the development of "blockbuster drugs", the basic concept of medicine has changed in recent years: It is pulling away from symptom-oriented "interventional therapy" towards a genetic approach tailored individually to the patient, which is designated by the generic term "personalized medicine". It appears that this approach allows for appropriate, patient-specific medicine with highly-effective therapy and few side-effects. The economic analysis of the emerging change to "personalized medicine", however, shows unclear returns for companies in the pharmaceutical industry. The main reasons for this are the mostly lower numbers of patients in "personalized medicine" with unchanging levels of research expenditures. This is in contrast to the previous "blockbuster pharmaceutical" business model, which focuses on high single-drug revenues that not only bear the development and manufacturing costs of the marketed drug, but also the cost of failed drugs. Thus, questions arise about the market for "blockbuster drugs", developed according to the "one-size-fits-all" principle of traditional medicine: Whether the market is now evolving from a mass market into a niche market, and which possible strategic implications could result for the pharmaceutical companies.
|School:||Universitaet Bayreuth (Germany)|
|Source:||DAI-C 81/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Economics, Pharmaceutical sciences|
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