The year is drawing to a close and in view of the next year the first forecasts are projected, indicated by IMS Health, a well-known American company specializing in marketing information for the pharmaceutical and health care industry. Experts wanted to make a distinction between the US market and the global one, recognizing the former a weak growth in terms of sales. For 2009, in fact, a certain stationary situation is foreseen with an increase in the 1-2%, a pledge paid to competition with generics, an ever-decreasing number of new drugs placed on the market and a general economic slowdown. Conversely, the global market will see growth, estimated at between 4.5 and 5.5% with sales exceeding $820 billion. Emerging markets will contribute to this growth, with a double-digit increase, going to counterbalance the narrow-gauge pace of much larger markets. In 2009, the drug market will face several forces: multi-billion dollar products will lose patent protection (Takeda Pharmaceutical Co's Prevacid, Johnson & Johnson's Topamax), regulatory pressure and reimbursement will increase, and niche products will play a greater role. In particular, there will be more and more space for specialized therapies: anticancer treatments will grow by 15-16% compared to 2008 and double-digit growth is also expected for anti-HIV and pain therapies, against a slowdown in drugs prescribed by general practitioners . To these factors must be added the uncertainty about the impact that the economic crisis may have: "The economy itself, whose downturn is neither predictable in terms of depth nor duration, is the most important unpredictable factor in forecasts" argues Diana Conmy, director of Market Insights for IMS.
In the US market, sales are expected to generate between 292 and 302 billion dollars, the result of a declining economy and few new product launches, only 25-30 scheduled for 2009. On which, however, a delay is foreseeable, from as delays of three months or more of Food and Drug Administration approvals become increasingly common. On the other hand, the major European markets still enjoy good health: France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Great Britain, whose growth for the coming year is expected to be 3-4%, with sales reaching from 162 billion to 172 billion dollars . The Japanese market is on the same lines: growth of 4-5% and sales from 84 billion to 88 billion dollars. The emerging markets of China, Brazil, India, South Korea, Mexico, Turkey and Russia will compensate for these limited market growth: overall their growth will reach 14-15% with sales from 105 billion to 115 billion dollars, sustained also from government health care expenditures. "We continue to see an evolution of the global pharmaceutical market - says Conmy - and we are still seeing a growth, which however occurs in different places from those in which it has occurred historically".
Berkrot B. IMS Forecast: Drug sales growth seen steady in 2009. Reuters Health. 10/29/2008