Pharma to be worth $1 trillion by 2014

April 23, 2010
Stephanie Sutton
Pharmaceutical Technology Europe

Despite pharma's upcoming peak years of patent expiries and the threat of generic competition, growth during the next 5 years is expected to be strong with the global market for pharmaceuticals forecast to reach more than $1 trillion by 2014, according to IMS Health.

Despite pharma's upcoming peak years of patent expiries and the threat of generic competition, growth during the next 5 years is expected to be strong with the global market for pharmaceuticals forecast to reach more than $1 trillion by 2014, according to IMS Health. The growth will be partly thanks to the growth of emerging countries.

Through to 2014, major developed pharmaceutical markets are expected to grow at a rate of 3–6%. The pharmerging markets, however, are expected to see growth rates of 14–17%, thus offsetting the reduced growth of the developed countries. Overall, the global pharmaceutical market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5–8%, although for 2010 IMS Health expects sales to be consistent with its prior forecast of 4–6%.

"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," Murray Aitken, Senior Vice President of Healthcare Insight, said in a press release.

Because of their high growth, the aggregate growth of pharmerging markets over the next 5 years will be similar to that experienced by developed markets — approximately $120 billion–140 billion. This compares with aggregate growth over the past 5 years of $69 billion and $126 billion for pharmerging markets and developed markets, respectively.

Several key shifts will occur in the developed markets — one of the most notable of which is a shift to generic dominance. According to IMS Health, the collective impact of patients shifting to generics in major therapy areas, such as cholesterol regulators, antipsychotics and anti-ulcerants, will reduce total global drug spending by approximately $80 billion–100 billion worldwide over the next 5 years. The US will feel the brunt of the impact where nearly two-thirds of patent expiries will occur.

Another issue facing developed markets is a reduction in the drug budgets of publicly-funded health systems, as well as the intense scrutiny of new products by payers before being accepted into clinical practice and reimbursed.

"The global economic recovery removes an element of uncertainty for the industry over the next 5 years, although the way payers address lingering budget deficits will remain an issue in many markets," said Aitken.

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