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Which Pharma Pipelines Rank Best?

For the majority of pharmaceutical companies, strong pipelines should offset the approaching patent cliff.

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While the majority of pharmaceutical companies are losing patents on major blockbuster drugs over the next five years, strong pipelines should provide stability and growth opportunities over the long run. Investors with long-term horizons could benefit from seeking the firms best-positioned to balance patent expirations with inline product growth and strong pipelines. In a recent Morningstar Healthcare Observer study using Morningstar's proprietary box methodology, we ranked the top 10 pharmaceutical companies on the strength of their pipelines, inline product growth, and patent exposure over the next five years.

Overall,  Novartis (NVS) achieved the best ranking across all the categories and remains one of our top picks in the pharmaceutical sector. Based solely on the pipeline strength,  GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) appears best positioned over the next five years. At the bottom of the list,  AstraZeneca (AZN) fell to the lowest ranking and remains one of the least attractive pharmaceutical stocks, in our view.

Damien Conover does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.