Pharmaceutical Sales Outlook For 2010 Looks Very Good.

The forecast for the pharmaceutical industry and pharmaceutical sales representatives looks mostly sunny for 2010.
Jan. 12, 2010 - PRLog -- Gloom may pervade much of the economy, but the pharmaceutical business is strong, and despite some challenges, will remain so. Those findings are among the results of this year's Drug Topics Business Outlook Survey. Conducted between September 23 and October 5, 2009, the survey of nearly 800 Drug Topics readers reveals that the pharmaceutical community, pharmaceutical sales reps and hospital-based pharmacists alike share in the optimism about the profession.

More than 80% of the 541 industry insiders who responded to the survey report that overall they are expecting 2009 to turn out to be an excellent, very good, or good business year for their pharmacies. Fully 73% of these respondents expect that good news to carry over into 2010.

Among the 246 hospital pharmacists who responded, 72% report that they are expecting an excellent, very good, or good business year for their pharmacy in 2009, and 71% say that will again be the case in 2010.  Compared with their 2009 estimates, community pharmacists are expecting the following in 2010:  48% expect an increase in sales; only 13% expect sales to decrease.

Among respondents who expect an increase in sales, the average expected increase is 8%. Among respondents who expect a decrease, the average expected decrease is 10%.
55% expect operating expenses to increase, and among this group the average expected increase is 6%. Meanwhile, 7% expect operating expenses to decrease, with the average decrease expected by this group being 10%. 29% expect an increase in net profits, while 30% expect a decrease.

The former group expects an average increase of 7%; the latter group expects an average decrease of 6%. 56% of community pharmacists say they expect that, in their pharmacies, pharmacist salaries will increase in 2010; 31% do not expect an increase. Among respondents who expect an increase for 2010, the average expected increase is 3%.

The most frequently cited positive factors that have affected or will affect respondents' business this year are major brand drugs going off patent (cited by 63% of the respondents) and the possible epidemic of the H1N1 flu (cited by 49%). The most frequently cited negative factors that have affected or will affect respondents' business this year are WalMart's free nationwide mailing of 90-day prescriptions for $10 (72%) and free antibiotics programs offered by competitors (55%).

Pharmaceutical sales reps say the biggest challenges their pharmacies will face in 2010 include competition resulting from the decision made by several chains to offer many generics at low or no cost (61%) and competition from mail-order pharmacies (60%).

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