Global Drug Spending to Reach $1 Trillion in 2014
Published Online: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Total worldwide spending on medications will reach $1 trillion in 2014 and $1.2 trillion in 2017, according to a report from IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics released on November 19, 2013. Global spending on medications increased 2.6% in 2012 to $965 billion and is forecast to grow 3% to 6% per year over the next few years.
Overall annual spending on medications is projected to grow an average of 10% to 13% in emerging economies, compared with just 1% to 4% in developed nations. Spending growth is expected to be particularly strong in China, which is projected to account for 34% of total growth in worldwide medicine spending over the next few years.
The report notes that projections for spending on medications in the United States are somewhat uncertain due to unknown effects of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Nonetheless, the total amount spent on medications in the United States is expected to rise in 2014 after declining for 2 years.
An average of 35 new medications is expected to be launched annually in the coming years, with a majority in the specialty or orphan disease category. Spending on specialty medications is poised to grow from $171 billion in 2012 to $230 to $240 billion in 2017, a 38% increase.
Projections of increased spending on medications will most likely lead to a resumed focus on controlling drug costs, which, in turn, will offer pharmacists an opportunity to help save money on medications.
After an unprecedented drop in medication spending in 2012, the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics finds that per capita use and overall spending on medications in the United States increased in 2013.
My encounter with the Chinese health care system revealed practices very different from the ones in the United States.