IMS: ‘Pharmerging’ to propel Rx growth farther

NORWAlK, Conn. —Pharmaceuticals are expected to become a global market worth more than $1 trillion within four years, according to a recent prediction by market research firm IMS Health.

The company expected the size of the global market to grow at a rate of between 5% and 8% a year during that period, in addition to this year’s projected rate of 4% to 6%, hitting $1.1 trillion by 2014, according to a new report titled “IMS Market Prognosis.”

“Patient demand for pharmaceuticals will remain robust, despite the ongoing effects of the economic downturn being felt in many parts of the world,” IMS SVP healthcare insight Murray Aitken said. “In developed markets, with publicly funded healthcare plans, pressure by payers to curb drug spending growth will only intensify, but that will be more than offset by the ongoing, rapid expansion of demand in the pharmerging markets.”

“Pharmerging” is a special term that IMS uses for those developing countries that are quickly becoming major markets for drugs, and the firm expected them to grow at a rate of between 14% and 17% through 2014, compared with 3% to 6% in developed countries. China is expected to become the world’s third-largest market for drugs by next year.

Meanwhile, a big wave of patent expirations will shift major therapies to dominance by generics, IMS said, with expirations peaking in 2011 and 2012 in the United States; already, according to an IMS report from early April, generics represent 75% of all dispensed prescriptions in the United States, up from 57% in 2004. IMS also noted in the early April report a 5.1% growth in sales of drugs and insulin through retail and nonretail channels in the United States in 2009, with sales reaching $300.3 billion, compared with 1.8% growth in 2008.

Total global pharmaceutical market by region2009Total global marketGlobal market by region* US$ billions, uses actual quarterly exchange rates** Based on constant US$ from Q409 average exchange rates† Compound annual growth rate based on constant US$ from Q409 average exchange ratesSource: IMS Health Market Prognosis, March 2010
 Market size*Market size**% Growth**% Growth**% CAGR†Forecast % growth**% CAGR†
North America$322.1$323.85.5%1.9%5.2%3%-5%3%-6%
Latin America45.847.910.612.710.910-1212-15

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