The pandemic has eased throughout much of the world. But demand for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments continues to be brisk, according to ratings agency Moody’s.
In general, the pandemic will contribute to the pharmaceutical industry’s projected EBITDA growth rate of 4% to 6% over the coming 12 to 18 months, the firm concluded.
While a significant number of vaccines and antivirals are already in use, more will likely win regulatory authorization in the coming months. But the volume of future COVID-19 therapy sales will hinge upon “how the pandemic evolves,” the Moody’s report acknowledged.
Other factors driving growth include growing healthcare use as countries like the U.S. continue to lift COVID-19 restrictions.
Oncology, one of the most rapidly growing pharma areas, is likely to continue its growth trajectory. Moody’s expects immuno-oncology drugs from Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche and AstraZeneca to contribute to the uptick.
Another positive factor in the overall pharma forecast is the limited number of prominent drugs facing generic competition over the next 12 to 18 months. “The industry faces a modest patent ‘cliff’ in 2023, followed by a larger cliff around 2027,” the report notes.
In the negative column, the pharmaceutical industry’s pricing practices continue to attract bipartisan political pressure in the U.S., which is the source of a considerable amount of many pharma firms’ revenue.