Rx Drug Spending Increases Projected To Slow in 2008
Sales growth for prescription drugs in 2008 is expected to increase at the lowest rate in decades, according to an annual forecast released Thursday by health care information and consulting firm IMS Health, the Wall Street Journal reports. The report projects that U.S. sales of brand-name and generic prescription drugs in 2008 will experience growth rates between 4% and 5%, compared with rates between 5% and 6% this year.
The estimate puts U.S. sales at as much as $305 billion. Worldwide sales in 2008 are expected to increase to as much as $745 billion, a growth rate of 5% to 6%, which also is a deceleration from 2007 (Whalen, Wall Street Journal, 11/1). In addition, according to the report, the U.S. will see its worldwide market share for drugs decrease to one-third, compared with half of global market share two years ago, the AP/Washington Post reports.
IMS said the slowing sales growth in part is caused by increased FDA regulation and scrutiny of new drugs seeking approval. IMS predicts slower approvals and more warning labels in the future (Perrone, AP/Washington Post, 11/1).
According to the Journal, another factor is brand-name drugs losing their hold on the market as patents expire and generic versions are approved.
IMS estimates that generic drugs will fill two-thirds of U.S. prescriptions in 2008, compared with half in 2003 (Wall Street Journal, 11/1).
Murray Aitken, senior vice president at IMS, said, "What we see is more information on drug usage becoming available and being mined to find risks and safety issues," adding, "Overall, this means more uncertainty for companies, as well as for their ability to get products to patients" (AP/Washington Post, 11/1).