Global drug sales to hit $650 billion in 2006: IMS Health

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Global pharmaceutical sales will grow by 7 percent in 2006, a slower pace than this year, with total market size reaching up to $650 billion, IMS Health reported yesterday.
The year 2006 "seems like a pretty pivotal year for the industry, the biggest year ever in terms of drugs likely to lose their patents in key markets," said Murray Aitken, IMS Health senior vice president, corporate strategy, in a pubished report.
Approximately $23 billion in products may lose patent protection overall next year. Sales of generics may rise to $45 billion, Aitken said.
Blockbuster drugs facing generic competition in key markets next year include Pfizer's antidepressant Zoloft, Sanofi-Aventis' insomnia treatment Ambien, Novartis' Lamisil for nail fungus and GlaxoSmithKlines's Zofran chemotherapy.
The U.S. market, which accounts for 43 percent of pharmaceutical sales worldwide, will continue to fuel growth in 2006.
IMS forecasted that the U.S. would grow at a 9 percent pace to $279 billion, up from an expected growth of 6 to 7 percent in 2005.
Increased access by U.S. seniors to lower-cost medications through Medicare Part D and a rebound from the impact of COX-2 product recalls and safety issues will help fuel growth, IMS said.

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