TRENTON, N.J. — Growth in global spending on medications will slow markedly over the next four years due to a slew of new low-cost generic drugs coming to pharmacies in the U.S. and other developed countries, along with slower increases in what those countries spend on brand-name drugs, according to a new forecast.
That’s good news for patients and the employers, labor unions and taxpayer-funded government health programs that help pay for drugs.
During a same period, from 2012 through 2016, the pharmaceutical industry will sharply boost its sales in emerging markets including China, India and Russia, according to the report from data firm IMS Health, which collects and analyzes data on pharmaceutical sales around the world.
The company’s latest forecast on global medicine sales and trends predicts total spending will rise from about $956 billion in 2011 to just under $1.2 trillion in 2016, based on reported wholesale drug prices. However, IMS estimates the undisclosed rebates and discounts drug companies give to commercial and government prescription plans, a strategy to win more of their business, reduce the actual cost by about 15 percent. That would put total pharmaceutical spending at about $1 trillion in 2016.
Spending will grow at “historically low levels” in the U.S. and might even decline by a percent in Europe, the report states.