Worldwide sales of drugs made by the major pharmaceutical companies are likely to grow by between just 4% and 6% next year, the lowest level 10 ten years, according to IMS Health.
It cites the global recession as a cause, as well as a boom in generic versions of popular treatments when billions of dollars worth of products lose patent protection.
Some of the fall-off will be countered by China, which will account for a fifth of all sales over the next five years, says IMS’s Healthcare Insight analysis division.
The company reports that sales in the world’s most populous country are increasing by 20% a year, and are likely to total £50 billion ($80bn) in 2013, putting it third behind the US and Japan. Six years ago it was tenth.
IMS forecasts that growth in the US will be about 5%, an improvement from last year. Worldwide sales are forecast to rise by 4% to 7% a year through 2013 to total £625 billion ($1 trillion).
Says spokesman Murray Aitken: “We are seeing the economic downturn influencing both patient behaviour and payer strategies. We have an unprecedented £85 billion ($137bn) worth of products losing patent protection, particularly in 2011 and 2012.”
Copyright Press Association 2009