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The near-term earnings outlook for the pharmaceutical industry was revised downward by a major credit ratings agency, thanks to expiring patents on several best-selling medicines and slower sales of Covid-19 vaccines and therapies.

Earnings are forecast to grow anywhere from 2% to 4% between now and the end of 2023, versus an earlier projection of 4% to 6% made last December by Moody’s Investor Service. Even so, the underlying growth reflects ongoing demand, limited exposure to macroeconomic problems, and a resilient supply chain. The outlook, by the way, reflects earnings before interest, taxes, amortization, and depreciation.

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