IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics Issues Forecast for Global Medicine Use

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Global spending on medicines is estimated to reach nearly $1.2 trillion by 2016.

A report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, The Global Use of Medicines: Outlook through 2016, found that annual global spending on medicines will rise from $956 billion in 2011 to nearly $1.2 trillion in 2016, the Institute said in a July 12, 2012, press release. According to the study, growth is expected to rebound from a low of 3–4% in 2012 to 5–7% in 2016, driven by volume increases in pharmerging markets and spending increases in developed nations.

In developed nations, the high level of patent expiries will limit branded medicine growth, but this will be offset by increased generics spending. In the US, medicine use is predicted to grow at an average annual rate of 1–4% over the next 5 years, driven by expanded patient access expected from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014 and by new medicines for currently unmet needs. Globally, 160–185 new molecular entities are expected to launch between 2011 and 2016, compared to 142 launches between 2007 and 2011, according to the report.


Medicine spending in emerging pharmaceutical markets is expected to double in the next five years due to rising incomes, low drug costs, and government-sponsored programs to increase access. Over 80% of this increase, however, will come from generics, OTC medicines, diagnostics, and nontherapeutics, estimated the IMS Institute.

“The trillion-dollar spending on medicines we forecast for 2016 represents a rebound in growth that will accentuate the challenges of access and affordability facing those who consume and pay for healthcare around the world,” said Murray Aitken, executive director of the IMS Institute, in the release.