IMS: Pharma growing faster than expected

Ready for some good pharma news? A boost in American insurance will push worldwide drug sales up by 4 percent to 6 percent in 2010, IMS Health predicts. And global growth will continue at a 4 percent to 7 percent clip every year through 2013. Just six months ago, IMS had predicted that U.S. drug sales would fall by 1 percent to 2 percent this year.

Why the rosier forecast? Demand for meds this year already has been higher than IMS anticipated, with U.S. sales projected to grow at least 4.5 percent this year. "We've been a little surprised at the resilience of the U.S. market, despite the downturn," IMS SVP Murray Aitken told Bloomberg. "People are still visiting their doctors, beginning and continuing therapy."

U.S. sales are expected to tick upward by 3 percent to 5 percent next year, too, as healthcare reform puts more Americans on the insurance rolls. Meanwhile, global sales will continue to grow, with emerging markets booming. China's pharma market alone will expand by 20 percent-plus every year through 2013 as healthcare becomes more readily available there. Overall, global drug sales are projected to reach $975 billion by 2013.

- see the release from IMS Health
- read the Bloomberg piece
- get more from Reuters