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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David Brailer joins Walgreens’ board of directors

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens has appointed the chairman of Health Evolution Partners to its board of directors.

The drug store chain announced Wednesday that David Brailer would join Walgreens’ board as an independent director, making him the board’s 11th member.

Brailer has served as chairman of Health Evolution Partners since 2006. Prior to joining Health Evolution Partners, he was appointed by the Bush administration as the first national health-information technology coordinator in 2004.

“David’s expertise in advancing healthcare technology on a national level, as well as his experience in supporting companies through investments that promote major change in the health system will provide us with valuable insight,” said Walgreens chairman Alan McNally. “This will be extremely important in the years ahead as technology plays an even greater role in the delivery of quality, affordable and accessible health care.”

Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson added, “David will be a tremendous resource to our board and our company as we help patients and payers lower healthcare costs while improving quality, outcomes and transparency through our pharmacy, health and wellness solutions.”

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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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