(Repeating story originally published at midnight)
* Annual sales growth of 3-6 pct seen through 2015
* Slowdown from 6.2 pct avg annual growth in past 5 yrs
* Generics to provide $98 bln in savings - IMS Health
* Annual spending to double in emerging markets - study
By Ransdell Pierson
NEW YORK, May 18 Global sales growth of
prescription drugs could be cut in half over the next five
years as lucrative brands lose patent protection and cheaper
generics and emerging markets become the only significant
growth drivers, according to IMS Health
"Past patterns of spending offer few clues about the level
of expected growth through 2015," said Murray Aitken, an IMS
Health executive whose division conducted the study.
"There are unprecedented dynamics at play, which are
driving rapid shifts in the mix of spending by patients and
payers between branded products and generics," said Aitken,
whose company tracks prescription drug sales and trends.
Average annual sales are expected to grow 3 to 6 percent
during the period, reaching nearly $1.1 trillion by 2015. But
the trend reflects a slowdown from annual growth of 6.2 percent
seen during the past five years, the report said.
U.S. sales will grow only 0 to 3 percent a year over the
period, while sales in Europe will rise 1 to 4 percent.
Spending on branded drugs is expected to be little changed in
such developed markets in 2015, with growth coming instead from
higher demand for cheaper generics.
A wave of new generics is approaching as an unprecedented
number of big drugs lose U.S. patent protection by 2015,
including Pfizer Inc's (PFE.N) $10 billion-a-year cholesterol
fighter Lipitor, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co's (BMY.N) Plavix blood
clot preventer and Eli Lilly and Co's (LLY.N) Zyprexa for
Aitken said too few novel drugs are being approved to
greatly offset lost sales of those facing the generic
"We continue to be disappointed by the number of new
chemical entities and biologics entering the market," he said.
All told, cheaper generic formulations of the maturing
drugs will produce $98 billion in net savings to insurers in
developed countries through 2015.
"The U.S. share of global spending will decline from 41
percent in 2005 to 31 percent in 2015, while the share of
spending from the top 5 European countries will decline from 20
percent to 13 percent," the report said.
Meanwhile, it said spending will likely double over the
next five years in emerging markets, to between $285 million
and $315 million a year -- approaching U.S. levels.
"Seventeen high growth emerging markets, led by China, will
contribute 28 percent of total spending by 2015, up from only
12 percent in 2005," the report said. It noted that growth will
come primarily from generics.
Global spending on cancer drugs is expected to reach $75
billion by 2015, rising at a much slower rate than in the past
five years because many newer and costly biotech treatments are
already being widely used in developed markets.
But annual spending on diabetes medicines is expected to
grow 4 to 7 percent through 2015, due largely to changing diets
and lifestyles in developing countries that will increase the
prevalence of Type II diabetes.
(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson, editing by Bernard Orr)