HEALTH

IMS Health projects growth for Rx market

BY Alaric DeArment

NORWALK, Conn. The global pharmaceutical market will reach a value of $880 billion next year, according to a report by market research firm IMS Health.

 

IMS Health forecasted 5% to 7% growth in 2011 in its annual IMS Market Prognosis, compared with 4% to 5% growth this year.

 

 

Generic drugs will become dominant in many therapies, as drugs with sales of more than $30 billion are expected to lose patent protection next year. These include Pfizer’s cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium), Bristol-Myers Squibb’s and Sanofi-Aventis’ cardiovascular drug Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate), Eli Lilly’s antipsychotic Zyprexa (olanzapine) and Johnson & Johnson’s antibiotic Levaquin (levofloxacin).

 

 

At the same time, much innovation is expected to occur in the area of specialty drugs –– drugs to treat such complex and often unmet therapeutic needs as multiple sclerosis, cancer and hepatitis C –– and patient access is expected to increase. IMS predicted five potential blockbuster drugs, meaning those with annual sales of $1 billion or more, will be approved over the course of the year.

 

 

Public and private payers are expected to reduce their growth in drug budgets, according to the report. In the United States, this is in the form of health plans increasing use of cost-sharing provisions and pre-authorizations.

 

 

“In 2011, we will see the loss of exclusivity for some iconic brands and a promising new wave of innovation,” IMS SVP Murray Aitken said. “It will also be a critical year for gauging how healthcare-reform initiatives in key markets evolve and play out amid the expected macroeconomic recovery. For pharmaceutical manufacturers, an unrelenting focus on bringing distinct value to patients and health systems will be essential to navigating this dynamic market.”

 

 

Overall, the company expected divergent growth in different markets. The United States will remain the largest drug market, growing 3% to 5% to $310 billion. Japan will grow by 5% to 7%, while Canada and the five major European markets of the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy and France will grow by 1% to 3%. The so-called “pharmerging markets” will experience the most dramatic growth, 15% to 17%, including 25% to 27% growth in China, which will remain the world’s third-largest pharmaceutical market at $50 billion.

 

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Study unveils prevalence of condom use among Americans

BY Michael Johnsen

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. Condom use is higher among black and Hispanic Americans than among white Americans and those from other racial groups, according to findings from the largest nationally representative study of sexual and sexual health behaviors ever fielded, conducted by Indiana University sexual health researchers and published last week in a special issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

The study helped both the public and professionals to understand how condom use patterns vary across these different stages in people’s relationships and across ages, noted Debby Herbenick, associate director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, which conducted the study. "Findings show that condoms are used twice as often with casual sexual partners as with relationship partners, a trend that is consistent for both men and women across age groups that span 50 years."

 

One new feature to the study was the inclusion of teens — the study found that many teenagers actually practice abstinence. "Many surveys of adolescent sexual behavior create an impression that adolescents are becoming sexually active at younger ages, and that most teens are sexually active," noted Dennis Fortenberry, professor of pediatrics in the IU School of Medicine, who led the adolescent aspects of the study. "[But] many contemporary adolescents are being responsible by abstaining or by using condoms when having sex."

 

 

Another key finding highlighted in the collection of papers addressed intimacy health among older Americans, finding that many older adults continue to have active sex lives; however, adults older than 40 years have the lowest rates of condom use.

 

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AstraZeneca provides Rx savings to Sacramento, Calif., pharmacy patients

BY Alaric DeArment

WILMINGTON, Del. AstraZeneca will provide medications free of charge to qualifying patients in Sacramento, Calif., through its prescription savings program, the Anglo-Swedish drug maker said Wednesday.

 

AstraZeneca said the Primary Care Center Pharmacy was the ninth organization to join the AZ&Me savings program. The pharmacy provides pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to nearly all departments within Sacramento County, dispensing around 1,200 prescriptions per day. Its free drug programs have grown over the last eight years from one to 16 programs with an annual savings of more than $4.4 million, benefiting around 25,000 uninsured patients.

 

 

“The partnership with Sacramento County will help patients who might otherwise go without the medicines they need,” AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals director of patient assistance programs Jennifer McGovern said.

 

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