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IMS: ‘Pharmerging’ to propel Rx growth farther

BY Alaric DeArment

NORWAlK, Conn. —Pharmaceuticals are expected to become a global market worth more than $1 trillion within four years, according to a recent prediction by market research firm IMS Health.

The company expected the size of the global market to grow at a rate of between 5% and 8% a year during that period, in addition to this year’s projected rate of 4% to 6%, hitting $1.1 trillion by 2014, according to a new report titled “IMS Market Prognosis.”

“Patient demand for pharmaceuticals will remain robust, despite the ongoing effects of the economic downturn being felt in many parts of the world,” IMS SVP healthcare insight Murray Aitken said. “In developed markets, with publicly funded healthcare plans, pressure by payers to curb drug spending growth will only intensify, but that will be more than offset by the ongoing, rapid expansion of demand in the pharmerging markets.”

“Pharmerging” is a special term that IMS uses for those developing countries that are quickly becoming major markets for drugs, and the firm expected them to grow at a rate of between 14% and 17% through 2014, compared with 3% to 6% in developed countries. China is expected to become the world’s third-largest market for drugs by next year.

Meanwhile, a big wave of patent expirations will shift major therapies to dominance by generics, IMS said, with expirations peaking in 2011 and 2012 in the United States; already, according to an IMS report from early April, generics represent 75% of all dispensed prescriptions in the United States, up from 57% in 2004. IMS also noted in the early April report a 5.1% growth in sales of drugs and insulin through retail and nonretail channels in the United States in 2009, with sales reaching $300.3 billion, compared with 1.8% growth in 2008.

Total global pharmaceutical market by region

2009

Total global marketGlobal market by region* US$ billions, uses actual quarterly exchange rates** Based on constant US$ from Q409 average exchange rates† Compound annual growth rate based on constant US$ from Q409 average exchange ratesSource: IMS Health Market Prognosis, March 2010
  2008 2004-2009 2010 2009-2014
  Market size* Market size** % Growth** % Growth** % CAGR† Forecast % growth** % CAGR†
$808.3 $837.3 7.0% 5.5% 6.7% 4%-6% 5%-8%
North America $322.1 $323.8 5.5% 1.9% 5.2% 3%-5% 3%-6%
Europe 247.6 263.9 4.8 7.0 6.6 3-5 3-6
Asia/Africa/Australia 102.6 106.6 15.9 15.0 13.9 13-15 12-15
Japan 90.3 95.0 7.6 2.1 3.9 0-2 2-5
Latin America 45.8 47.9 10.6 12.7 10.9 10-12 12-15

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Retail clinics: Improved care at a lower cost

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT Retail clinics. Save. Money. Without regard to who’s footing the bill exactly — healthcare payer or Jane Patient — retail clinics not only represent a significant cost savings across the board, but by siphoning nonemergency-yet-still-urgent cases out of the emergency rooms and doctors’ offices, retail clinics also can contribute to improved care across the healthcare continuum.

(THE NEWS: Study: Retail clinics save nonemergency patients money. For the full story, click here)

All told there were 119.2 million total ER visits in 2006, up 8.2% as compared with 2004, according to ACEP. Extrapolate that figure with WellPoint’s finding that 19.4% of those visits may be for nonemergencies across the entire nation, and the fuzzy math equates to an approximate 23.1 million non-emergency patients presenting across some 3,833 ERs. For whoever is paying for the cost of care, that’s an expenditure totaling $10.2 billion if every case were to present at an ER; as compared to $1.2 billion if every case were to present at a retail clinic. That’s the cost savings piece.

But cost savings aren’t the only benefit retail clinics afford the overall healthcare system —  there’s a general improvement in care. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, average waiting times for patients triaged with non-emergency ailments at emergency departments range between one and two hours, but only when the ER isn’t crowded. That’s like saying that bee stings don’t hurt, you know, except when they do.

Let’s face it, in a nation of 309 million and counting, there are simply not enough points of care, be it for an emergency or nonemergency situation. Taking nonemergency visits out of emergency rooms would likely improve the efficiency of care for more critical patients, as well as the experience of care for noncritical patients. That’s the improved care piece.

Improved care at a lower cost, that’s what retail clinics bring to the table.

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Tide brings Loads of Hope to Dollar General

BY Allison Cerra

NASHVILLE Tide brought its mobile laundromat to a local Dollar General to benefit victims of the recent floods.

Tide’s Loads of Hope program visited a Nashville Dollar General May 12 to provide customers in the area with clean laundry. One truck and a fleet of vans house more than 32 energy-efficient washers and dryers that are capable of cleaning over 300 loads of laundry every day. Tide washs, dries and folds the clothes for these families for free.

The Loads of Hope program also benefited victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, in addition to other natural disasters.

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