Spending Up In 2009
drug spending in the United States rose 5.1
percent in 2009, acording to a new report
from IMS Health., a data collection company.
Street Journal: Though the rise
is higher than the previous two years, "the
data pointed to concerns for branded drug
makers. The number of prescriptions
dispensed for generic drugs rose 5.9% last year, but those for
branded drugs declined 7.6%. Of all
prescriptions dispensed, 75% were for
generics last year, up from 57% five years
earlier. ... Making matters difficult for
brand-name drug makers, several of their
top-selling medicines, including Pfizer
Inc.'s popular Lipitor, are scheduled to
lose patent protection over the next few
years" (Rockoff, 4/2).
Associated Press/Forbes: "IMS
Health attributed the turnaround to
increased filling of prescriptions, which
grew at a 2.1% pace compared to 1% in 2008."
The increase comes despite the recession.
"In response to the economic downturn,
drugmakers have been offering co-pay coupons
and other programs to help patients pay for
their prescriptions. Those programs combined
with offers on low-cost generic drugs from
Wal-Mart, Walgreens and other retailers to
drive sales. ... Also boosting sales were
pharmaceutical price increases 3% to 4%,
roughly even with historical hikes" (Perrone,
BusinessWeek: "Higher sales of
antidepressants including Eli Lilly & Co.'s Cymbaltaand
tumor-fighting therapies such as Roche
Holding AG's Avastin helped
bolster pharmaceutical revenue to $300.3
billion. ... Antipsychotics, such as Lilly's Zyprexaand
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s Abilify,
remained the top-selling class of medicines"