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A new report suggests that pharmaceutical sales in the US will only account for around a third of global sales in 2008, down from 50% two years ago.
Research carried out by IMS Health, shows that prescription drugs sales in emerging markets such as China, Brazil, Turkey and Mexico are booming.
But it claims that the gains will be offset by the loss of patent protection for profitable drugs worth £9.6bn in annual sales in 2008.
Global sales are expected to grow by up to 6%, to £357bn in 2008, compared with predictions for 2007 of 7% growth which is expected to net £338bn.
The company forecasts that in the US, prescription drug sales growth for 2008 will be around 5%, to £146bn. This compares with an estimated growth of up to 6% for 2007, worth £141bn.
The firm said that US patents for Johnson & Johnson’s schizophrenia treatment Risperdal and Merck’s osteoporosis medicine Fosamax are likely to expire, which will help to increase global sales growth in generic drugs by 15% to £33bn.
And it predicts that as a result, generic manufacturers like Mylan and Barr Pharmaceuticals will continue to make inroads in emerging markets.
The company said it believes that prescription drug sales in China, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey and other emerging economies will account for 25% of the global market in 2008.
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