Although the diabetes sector will remain, the prices of cardiovascular and metabolic drugs are going to be hammered by generics.

A report by Datamonitor forecasts that the latter segment across the seven major markets (USA, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) will peak in 2011 and then begin to decline, with total sales falling from $105 billion in 2009 to $101 billion in 2019. However, volume of sales will continue to increase, driven by aging populations and higher rates of obesity.

Dyslipidaemia and hypertension sales "are set to become nearly entirely genericised", the analysis claims, as Pfizer's Lipitor (atorvastatin) will lose US exclusivity from 2011. In thrombosis, a range of new therapies will balance out generic erosion of Sanofi-Aventis/Bristol-Myers Squibb's Plavix (clopidogrel) and the French firm's Lovenox (enoxaparin), while in diabetes, a strong pipeline will ensure continued growth.

Christine Henry, a healthcare analyst at Datamonitor, says that the proportion of the market composed of branded therapies is forecast to fall and by 2019, generics and biosimilars will contribute 68% of volume sales across the seven major markets, and 28% of sales". In the cardiovascular and metabolic disease segement, by 2019, "seven of the top 10 brands will be antidiabetics" and will contribute 35% of all sales in the seven major markets, and 50% in the US market.

Ms Henry concluded by saying that Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly are forecast to be the only two growth companies of the top 10 cardiovascular and metabolic companies from 2009, while Merck & Co is forecast to be the leading company in the segment by 2019, driven by a diverse product portfolio and its antidiabetic Januvia (sitagliptin) franchise.