Moody's Investors Services to downgrade its credit ratings outlook for the US  pharmaceutical industry

Moody’s Investors Services revised its outlook on the US pharmaceutical industry to negative from stable mainly due to approaching patent expirations, a tougher regulatory climate and a shift by US pharma companies towards more aggressive financial policies.

According to the  ratings agency cumulative patent expirations through 2012 affect above 40 percent ( in some cases over 50percent) of current revenues for most of the companies.

Further according to Moody’s FDA approvals appears slower than prior years and larger number of pharma companies may consider aggressive financial policies, like larger acquisitions and share repurchase strategies, against the previously conservative ones which supported high credit ratings.