IMS Report Estimates Over A Trillion Dollars in Drug Spending This Year

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According to the report, sofosbuvir for hepatitis C infections and new cancer drugs were the drivers of the high spending costs, a 7% jump over the previous year.

Gilead Sciences

Global pharmaceutical spending will break the trillion dollar mark in 2014, driven by high prices in the United States for novel treatments such as Inc's Sovaldi for hepatitis C and new cancer drugs, according to a study released on Thursday.


Total spending on drugs will hit $1.06 trillion, an increase of 7% over 2013 levels, according to the report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. The increase also reflected a slowdown in the introduction of cheaper generic versions of branded medicines.

By 2018, IMS expects spending to rise to $1.3 trillion due to new breakthrough therapies.

Hepatitis C drugs will add about $100 billion in total spending in the next few years, while cancer spending will rise to $100 billion and diabetes care will account for another $78 billion. Cancer drugs contributing to the high cost include Roche Holding AG's Perjeta and Kadcyla, Pharmacyclics Inc's Imbruvica and Amgen's Kyprolis.

Drugmakers have come under pressure over high U.S. prices, particularly Sovaldi's list price of $1,000 per pill. State Medicaid offices and private insurers say the prices are too high to bear, while drugmakers defend them as reflecting the wider cost of developing medicines, many of which they say will never make a profit.

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