Global Drug Spending to Hit $1.3 Trillion by 2018

November 22, 2014
Krystle Vermes

Improved patient access to medications and fewer patent expirations will result in a 30% increase in global drug spending, to $1.3 trillion, over the next 5 years.

Improved patient access to medications and fewer patent expirations will result in a 30% increase in global drug spending, to $1.3 trillion, over the next 5 years, according to “The Global Outlook for Medicines Through 2018” report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

The increase in annual global medicine spending is anticipated to spike this year, when the growth will total around $70 billion, compared with $44 billion in 2013 and $26 billion in 2012.

“The higher level of spending growth we’re projecting over the next 5 years reflects an unusual combination of higher spending on the surge of innovative medicines for patients and lower savings from patent expiries,” said Murray Aitken, senior vice president and executive director of the IMS Institute, in a statement. “This is particularly evident this year and next in developed countries—and especially in the US, which accounts for more than a third of the global market.”

The United States and Japan will lead the growth in drug spending through 2018 due to fewer patent expiries, more innovative medicines, and price increases, while France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Italy are expected to maintain relatively low growth levels.

In pharmerging countries like China, spending on medicines is expected to increase by more than 50% over the next 5 years, and much of the growth will be attributed to greater use of biologic therapies, the report stated.

More than 200 new medications are expected to enter the market over the next 5 years. Approximately 2000 products are currently in late-stage development, and one-fourth of them are oncology therapies, according to the report.