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US prescription drug sales slow


A new report shows that US prescription drug sales growth slowed to its lowest rate in 46 years in 2007.

And IMS Health said the reduction was due to the fact that there had been a rise in the number of brand-name drugs losing their exclusivity to generics and a decline in new product approvals.

The group’s annual US Pharmaceutical Market Performance Review shows that sales came to $286.5bn in 2007, which is an increase of 3.8%. However, it added that the rate of growth was the lowest since 1961, when sales only increased by 3.3%, and was in marked contrast to an 8% hike recorded in 2006.

IMS said that the Medicare Part D programme accounted for 19% of retail prescriptions at the end of last year, which it said was a slight increase from 2006 “and reflective of a maturing programme”. It said that 65% of Americans 65 and older are now enrolled in the scheme.

Volume for generic drugs grew by 10% as branded pharmaceuticals with $17bn in sales lost exclusivity, and generics increased their share of total dispensed prescriptions to more than 67%.

IMS Health reported that antidepressants, lipid regulators, codeine and combination pain medications, blood pressure drugs and beta blockers continued to top the market in prescription use.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

IMS Health

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