Stronger growth for global pharma in 2011, says IMS

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Global pharma market growth will pick up steam in 2011, with growth of 5%-7% to $880 billion, over 4%-5% growth in 2010, according to IMS Health.

The research firm forecast stronger growth despite stricter cost controls in many European markets and continued generic erosion of branded drug sales. A handful of big drugs, together with strong growth in emerging markets, will fuel the surge, said IMS SVP Murray Aitken.

“While the overall market will appear to rebound somewhat in 2011, the underlying constraints to growth in developed markets are stronger than ever – including the impact of major patent expiries and payer mechanisms to limit drug spending,” said Aitken. “We expect the pharmerging markets to continue their rapid expansion next year and remain strong sources of growth, and also see the potential for several significant innovative treatment options that are becoming available for patients in areas that include metastatic melanoma, multiple sclerosis and acute coronary syndrome.”

IMS Health forecast 15%-17% growth among the 17 countries it calls “pharmerging markets,” buoyed in part by increased government spending. Altogether, these countries will see sales of $170-$180 billion in 2011, IMS predicted, with China making up $50 billion of that and seeing 25%-27% growth.

The US will see 3%-5% growth to $320-$330 billion, the firm predicted – up from an expected $310 billion in 2010. Japan will see strong 5%-7% growth, but sales in the top five European markets will increase only 1%-3%.

Products with sales of more than $30 billion will lose exclusivity next year, including Lipitor, Plavix, Zyprexa and Levaquin in the US, which accounted for more than 93 million prescriptions and $17 billion in US sales for the year to date. Meanwhile, pharmas will feel the bite from this year's healthcare reform law as health plans ramp up use of pre-authorizations and cost-sharing provisions, and governments throughout Europe and Canada will seek cost savings through price controls.
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