Drug Sales in a Rut

May 26th, 2009 | Sources: IMS Health

US drug sales will fall 1-2% in 2009, according to IMS Health, a record drop. The market research firm expects growth to rebound in the following years, but that overall compound annual growth over the next 5 years will be flat.

floodofbadnewsThe problem, according to IMS, has been inopportune pharmaceutical cost shifts to patients who are being hammered by the Great Economic Crisis, as well as patent expirations for several blockbusters in the upcoming years.

Global sales are not immune to these developments. IMS now predicts that worldwide sales will rise only 2.5- 3.5% this year, which is 2 percentage points less than it forecast before the Feds played Russian Roulette with Lehman Brothers and the chamber turned out to be loaded.

The new forecast translates to about $750 billion in 2009 revenues for Big Pharma.

In October, IMS had pegged that number at a cool $820 billion. 

“To the now-familiar factors impeding market growth such as patent expirations, a slowdown in innovative product launches, and hurdles imposed by payers on market access and acceptance, we can now overlay the economic downturn,” said Murray Aitken, a senior VP at IMS.

“There is a clear correlation between demand for medicines and key macroeconomic variables such as GDP, consumer spending and government expenditures. The pharmaceutical industry is not recession-proof.”

Dangling Chinese dollarDespite the near term hit to global pharmaceutical sales, IMS predicts that the global compound annual growth rate for pharmaceutical sales will run between 3-6% through 2013.

Countries in which patients largely pay out-of pocket for drugs, such as China and Brazil will impact these figures negatively.

Despite this, IMS expects that China will rise from its current position as the world’s sixth-largest pharmaceutical market to 3rd place by 2011.


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