Based on a new report entitled “Outlook for Global Medicines Through 2021,” global expenditures on medicines will reach approximately $1.5 trillion by 2021, a $370 billion increase from estimated 2016 expenditure levels. The growth rate for medicine spending is estimated to decrease from 9% in both 2014 and 2015 to between 4% and 7% over the five-year period. The US and China are assumed to make up the two top markets for pharmaceuticals.

Half of all pharmaceutical expenditures will be for specialty medicines in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, with these medicines also contributing to the acceleration of their share of global pharmaceutical spending, which is expected to grow from 30% in 2016 to 25% by 2021. The use of specialty medicines will also increase medicine costs, as they are 15–20 times more expensive than traditional brands.

Brand prices are also forecast to increase between 8% and 11%. Due to lower spending on brands because of an influx of patent expirations, the US pharmaceutical industry is expected to reduce R&D spending by an estimated $143.5 billion within the next five years. Of this figure, the reduction of spending on biosimilars will be between $27–$58 billion, representing between 25% and 35% of the impact of the total five-year spending reduction.

Cancer research, including immunology and cell therapy, is the top R&D category, and new platforms such as CRISPR are expected to shake up the personalized medicine market. By 2021, a record 2,240 drugs currently in late-stage development are expected to be released to the market, with an average 45 of active new substances predicted to launch each year.

Source: QuintilesIMS Institute

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