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The new Medicare Part D prescription drug program is expected to trigger a sharp increase in the demand for Rx medicines during the coming year, researchers at IMS Health predict. US sales of prescription drugs are projected to grow by between 8% and 9% in 2006an increase almost 50% greater than the worldwide rise in demand for medicines and double the sales growth expected for many European countries.
Currently, US sales of prescription drugs total $230 billion, or 43% of the worldwide market for these products. The upsurge in demand next year figures to push the US share of the global pharmaceutical market even higher, according to IMS Health.
Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.