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Drug Week–Part I of Drug Reports

By July 11, 2011Commentary

The next few posts will all discuss a variety of pharmaceutical-related reports.  Some are the drug trend reports put out by the major pharmacy benefit managers and some are regular reports put out on other drug-related topics.  Today we will discuss a report by IMS on projected global use of drugs through 2015 and SureScripts latest annual report on utilization of its system to facilitate communications among PBMs, pharmacies, physicians, payers and others in the drug delivery and management chain.    The IMS report projects that global drug spend will be $1.1 trillion in 2015, a 3-6% annual growth rate in the five-years leading up to that, compared to 6.2% annual growth in the five years up to 2010.  The United States share of global spending will decline from 41% in 2005 to 31% in 2015.  Several emerging economies, including China and India, will collectively account for 28% of drug spend by 2015, compared to only 12% in 2005.   (IMS Report)

The IMS report also sees an increasing proportion of spending on generics, up to 39% in 2015 from 20% in 2005.  Brand drug patent expirations drive this trend as well as increased usage in developing countries, primarily of generic drugs.  Specialty pharmaceuticals will continue to drive spending higher, to offset the increased use of generics.  This will be particularly pronounced in oncology medications, which will likely rise to $75 billion in spending in 2015.  Diabetes and asthma drugs will see modest growth, while lipid regulators and BP medications will likely see a decrease.

The SureScripts report tracks the adoption and use of eprescribing from 2008 to 2010.  (SureScripts Report) The three primary uses of the system are for requests for a patient’s benefit information, which grew from 188 million requests in 2009 to 423 million in 2010; to get a medication history, which increased from 81 million in 2009 to 230 million in 2010; and prescription routing went from 191 million in 2009 to 326 million in 2010.  This obviously rapid growth was driven in part by government incentives.  The number of prescribers using the system for routing grew to 234,000 from 156,000 in 2009, or about 34% of all office-based prescribers, so there is room for great improvement in utilization of eprescribing capabilities.  Over 90% of pharmacies were connected for prescription routing.

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