HEALTH

IMS Health projects growth for Rx market

BY Alaric DeArment

NORWALK, Conn. The global pharmaceutical market will reach a value of $880 billion next year, according to a report by market research firm IMS Health.

 

IMS Health forecasted 5% to 7% growth in 2011 in its annual IMS Market Prognosis, compared with 4% to 5% growth this year.

 

 

Generic drugs will become dominant in many therapies, as drugs with sales of more than $30 billion are expected to lose patent protection next year. These include Pfizer’s cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium), Bristol-Myers Squibb’s and Sanofi-Aventis’ cardiovascular drug Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate), Eli Lilly’s antipsychotic Zyprexa (olanzapine) and Johnson & Johnson’s antibiotic Levaquin (levofloxacin).

 

 

At the same time, much innovation is expected to occur in the area of specialty drugs –– drugs to treat such complex and often unmet therapeutic needs as multiple sclerosis, cancer and hepatitis C –– and patient access is expected to increase. IMS predicted five potential blockbuster drugs, meaning those with annual sales of $1 billion or more, will be approved over the course of the year.

 

 

Public and private payers are expected to reduce their growth in drug budgets, according to the report. In the United States, this is in the form of health plans increasing use of cost-sharing provisions and pre-authorizations.

 

 

“In 2011, we will see the loss of exclusivity for some iconic brands and a promising new wave of innovation,” IMS SVP Murray Aitken said. “It will also be a critical year for gauging how healthcare-reform initiatives in key markets evolve and play out amid the expected macroeconomic recovery. For pharmaceutical manufacturers, an unrelenting focus on bringing distinct value to patients and health systems will be essential to navigating this dynamic market.”

 

 

Overall, the company expected divergent growth in different markets. The United States will remain the largest drug market, growing 3% to 5% to $310 billion. Japan will grow by 5% to 7%, while Canada and the five major European markets of the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy and France will grow by 1% to 3%. The so-called “pharmerging markets” will experience the most dramatic growth, 15% to 17%, including 25% to 27% growth in China, which will remain the world’s third-largest pharmaceutical market at $50 billion.

 

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NCPA to CMS: Medicaid reimbursements should adhere to healthcare-reform law provisions

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Community Pharmacists Association is urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to follow guidance that Congress included in the healthcare-reform law in its implementation of a new Medicaid generic drug reimbursement formula based on average manufacturer price, the organization said Tuesday.

CMS recently withdrew provisions that would have dramatically cut Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement to community pharmacies from a previously proposed AMP rule due to an injunction that the NCPA obtained in 2007.

 

In a letter to Congress, the NCPA recommended giving manufacturers more direction in calculating their AMPs, such as requiring them to only include prices paid by wholesalers for drugs subsequently sold at pharmacies; recognizing the ill effect that the NCPA said curtailed generic drug reimbursements would have on retail pharmacies; and setting up a process by which revised federal upper limits resulting from the revised AMP data will be implemented in order to minimize disruption for patients and pharmacies.

 

 

“In many ways, independent community pharmacies are the backbone of Medicaid’s prescription drug benefit,” NCPA acting EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey said. “Pharmacies will become an even more important source of health care-related services for Medicaid beneficiaries as new healthcare reform provisions are implemented.”

 

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David Brailer joins Walgreens’ board of directors

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens has appointed the chairman of Health Evolution Partners to its board of directors.

The drug store chain announced Wednesday that David Brailer would join Walgreens’ board as an independent director, making him the board’s 11th member.

Brailer has served as chairman of Health Evolution Partners since 2006. Prior to joining Health Evolution Partners, he was appointed by the Bush administration as the first national health-information technology coordinator in 2004.

“David’s expertise in advancing healthcare technology on a national level, as well as his experience in supporting companies through investments that promote major change in the health system will provide us with valuable insight,” said Walgreens chairman Alan McNally. “This will be extremely important in the years ahead as technology plays an even greater role in the delivery of quality, affordable and accessible health care.”

Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson added, “David will be a tremendous resource to our board and our company as we help patients and payers lower healthcare costs while improving quality, outcomes and transparency through our pharmacy, health and wellness solutions.”

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