IMS Health Forecasts Global Pharmaceutical Market Growth of 4 - 6 Percent in 2010; Predicts 4 - 7 Percent Expansion Through 2013

IMS Health Forecasts Global Pharmaceutical Market Growth of 4 - 6 Percent in 2010; Predicts 4 - 7 Percent Expansion Through 2013

  • Stronger near-term growth in U.S. market expected
  • Economic downturn influencing patient behavior, payer strategies
  • Expanded access in pharmerging markets, prospects for new medicines remain major growth drivers

NORWALK, Conn. -- IMS Health (NYSE: RX) reported today that the value of the global pharmaceutical market in 2010 is expected to grow 4 - 6 percent on a constant-dollar basis, exceeding $825 billion, driven by stronger near-term growth in the U.S. market. The forecast, the leading annual industry indicator of market dynamics, predicts global pharmaceutical market sales to grow at a 4 - 7 percent compound annual growth rate through 2013, and takes into account the impact of the global macroeconomy, the changing mix of innovative and mature products, and the rising influence of healthcare access and funding on market demand. Global pharmaceutical market value is expected to expand to $975+ billion by 2013.

In its latest forecast, the company raised its expectations for five-year pharmaceutical market growth by one percentage point, partly due to the stronger demand being experienced in 2009. The conclusions are drawn from the latest release of IMS Market PrognosisTM, the company's series of strategic market forecasting publications.

"Overall, market growth is expected to remain at historically low levels, but stronger-than-expected demand in the U.S. is lifting both our short- and longer-term forecasts," said Murray Aitken, senior vice president, Healthcare Insight, IMS. "The economic climate will continue to be a dampening influence in most mature markets, particularly in those countries with rising budget deficits and publicly funded healthcare systems. In the U.S., pricing flexibility and inventory management actions are contributing to much higher growth than anticipated earlier this year, and are the main reasons for the upward adjustment to our five-year forecast."

In its latest analysis, IMS identifies the following key market dynamics:

Growth prospects in the U.S. market improve. Near-term growth prospects in the U.S. have strengthened in recent months, reflecting both sustained levels of price increases and changing inventory stocking patterns. Pharmacy chains are more tightly managing their inventory levels based on expectations of patient demand, which has led to greater purchasing volatility than in previous years. This also has played a role in unusually high sales growth in the first quarter of 2009 relative to forecast expectations. U.S. market growth in 2009 is now expected to be 4.5 - 5.5 percent, and 3 - 5 percent in 2010. While payers seek to limit price increases and boost the use of lower-cost generics, pharmaceutical manufacturers are expected to maintain their pricing practices, competing on the basis of clinical evidence and value. Current pricing practices by the industry also include the use of off-invoice discounts and rebates, which are not reflected in IMS's forecast and reported data, and are understood to be increasing.
Economic downturn affects markets to varying degrees. Growth has slowed in countries where there is high out-of-pocket spending on pharmaceuticals and steep declines in macroeconomic activity, especially in Russia, Mexico and South Korea. At the same time, growth has been less affected to date in countries where drugs are largely funded publicly, such as in Germany, Japan and Spain. However, new cost-containment measures expected to be introduced during the forecast period likely will impact the pace of growth in these markets. In the U.S., pharmaceutical manufacturers' efforts to expand access to and awareness of patient assistance programs, as well as co-pay subsidies for patients in need, are limiting the impact of the economic downturn to some extent.
Impact of the innovation/patent loss imbalance dampens growth prospects. Consistent with trends of the past several years, the next five are expected to reflect a significant imbalance between new product introductions and patent losses. This is the primary factor limiting global pharmaceutical market growth to the mid-single digits through 2013. During the next five years, products that currently generate an unprecedented $137 billion in sales are expected to face generic competition, including Lipitor®, Plavix®, and Seretide®. At the same time, new products that will enable innovative approaches for treating patients suffering from diseases such as osteoporosis, respiratory ailments, thrombosis, multiple sclerosis and cancer are not expected to generate the same magnitude of sales as products losing patent protection.
Pharmerging markets in aggregate sustain strong growth. Despite economic conditions significantly affecting some markets - notably Russia, Turkey, South Korea and Mexico - the seven pharmerging countries are expected in aggregate to grow by 12 - 14 percent in 2010, and 13 - 16 percent over the next five years. China's pharmaceutical market is expected to continue to grow at a 20+ percent pace annually, and contribute 21 percent of overall global growth through 2013. Russia and Turkey may be impacted significantly by new measures intended to reduce the level of healthcare spending in those two markets.
Healthcare access and funding under intensifying pressure. The economic climate has heightened concerns by payers about healthcare funding, and intensified their efforts to limit access to non-generic drugs. During the next five years, markets will be impacted by numerous payer actions, including the imposition of price cuts on existing drugs, the raising of standards required to achieve reimbursement of innovative therapies, and the use of economic incentives for prescribers and pharmacists to drive a shift to generic alternatives. Evidence of the value that medicines bring to healthcare systems will be required to achieve access and funding in both developed and emerging markets.
A number of events may occur in 2010 that also could have a long-term effect on the pharmaceutical market. These include the potential for passage of comprehensive healthcare reform in the U.S. as well as legislative or regulatory actions in other countries, the magnitude of the H1N1 pandemic, and the timing and extent of the global economic recovery.

"While our outlook for the global market is more positive than earlier in the year, the fundamental dynamics of the innovation cycle, funding pressures, and the broader macroeconomic environment will result in mid-single-digit growth over the next five years," noted Aitken. "Notwithstanding the improved prospects in the U.S. market, the drive by pharmaceutical manufacturers to adapt to the longer-term marketplace trends and evolving patient needs will continue undiminished."

About IMS Market Prognosis

IMS Market Prognosis offerings are subscription-based, strategic market forecasting publications that provide unparalleled insights into the economic and political issues affecting the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Based on a rigorous evaluation of the key events affecting the marketplace, IMS Market Prognosis provides a five-year forecast at the country, regional and global level. The scope of coverage includes 42 in-depth country analyses and more than 220 top-line country forecasts in 11 regions worldwide. The pharmerging markets are Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia, South Korea and Turkey.

The forecasts take full account of key issues impacting the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Additional factors that may affect overall growth include major safety events resulting in product withdrawal or prescribing restrictions; shifts in regulatory approval standards from their current levels; the application of sudden cuts to drug spending levels; public health crises; and a deterioration in economic conditions. Growth is measured in constant dollars to avoid the influence of currency exchange rates; sales are calculated at the ex-manufacturer level and exclude off-invoice discounts and rebates. IMS Market Prognosis forecasts use an econometric model that includes forecasts for economic indicators such as Gross Domestic Product, Consumer Expenditure, and the Consumer Price Index from the Economist Intelligence Unit. As the basis for the forecast model, changes in these indicators will impact forecasted pharmaceutical performance.

About IMS

Operating in more than 100 countries, IMS Health is the world's leading provider of market intelligence to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. With $2.3 billion in 2008 revenue and more than 50 years of industry experience, IMS offers leading-edge market intelligence products and services that are integral to clients' day-to-day operations, including product and portfolio management capabilities; commercial effectiveness innovations; managed care and consumer health offerings; and consulting and services solutions that improve productivity and the delivery of quality healthcare worldwide. Additional information is available at