IMS Forecasts 30 Percent Hike in Drug Spending by 2020 Driven by Emerging Markets

A new report is predicting that spending on prescription and OTC medications will climb 30 percent in the next five years, fueled largely by improved sales and access in emerging markets.

The Nov. 18 report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, Global Medicines Use in 2020, envisions a dramatic upswing in pharmaceutical spending in countries such as China, India, Brazil and Indonesia. That spending, in IMS’ estimation, will translate to $1.4 billion globally by 2020. Despite the eye-popping total, it is actually a slightly smaller increase than the 35 percent hike between 2010 and 2015.

The year 2020 also will see patients receive an estimated 4.5 trillion doses of medication each year, a 24 percent increase over dispensing rates in 2015.

Much of that forecasted increase in emerging markets will come from expanded sales channels for generic drugs. IMS believes this development will lead developing nations to account for two-thirds of all pharmaceutical sales by volume.

“In 2020, more of the world’s population will have access to medicine than ever before, albeit with substantial disparities” between developed nations and emerging ones.

In that same vein, the report predicts that developed markets will continue to “account for the majority of medicine spending due to both higher prices per unit and the mix of newer medicines that bring meaningful clinical benefit to patients facing a wide range of diseases.”

This continued reliance on branded and specialty drugs in wealthier countries will drive overall spending on branded medications to $298 billion over the next five years, the report predicts. That amount will be partially offset by an estimated $90 billion in net price reductions for branded drugs, due in part to the expiration of a number of small molecule patents.

In the Year Not-Quite 2525

In terms of new active substances, IMS predicts there will be 943 by 2020, many of them biologics and/or tied to special uses. It adds that 225 new ones will be introduced in the next five years, many of them devoted to cancer treatments.

“Patients will have greater access to breakthrough therapies and clusters of innovation around hepatitis C, a range of cancers, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, and an array of other rare diseases,” the report envisions.

However, IMS anticipates that all of these improvements in access will come at a high price — not only for consumers, but for drugmakers as well.

“The continued expansion of healthcare access around the world portends a fundamental gap in delivery capacity where added patient access outruns staffing, infrastructure and funding sources,” the report states. “Critical adaptations will be necessary to thrive into the next decade, and key among them [for health care companies] will be listening and providing valuable solutions to the problems their customers face.”

Access the report at: — Cameron Ayers


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