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Report: U.S. prescription sales jump 8.3 percent

IMS Health has reported that U.S. prescription drug sales grew 8.3 percent to $274.9 billion in 2006.

Growth was fueled by the Medicare Part D prescription benefit, the increased utilization of generics within ne

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IMS Health has reported that U.S. prescription drug sales grew 8.3 percent to $274.9 billion in 2006.

Growth was fueled by the Medicare Part D prescription benefit, the increased utilization of generics within new therapy classes, and the launch of new drugs targeted to specific diseases such as cancer and diabetes, according to the report.

In 2006, total U.S. dispensed prescription volume - the number of prescriptions dispensed to patients - grew at a 4.6 percent pace compared with 3.2 percent in 2005. Prescription product sales at wholesale prices and dispensed prescriptions are derived from the IMS National Sales Perspectives and IMS National Prescription Audit offerings, respectively.

"Demand for pharmaceutical products in the world's largest pharmaceutical market grew significantly for the third straight year," said Diana Conmy, corporate director, IMS Market Insights. "This growth was driven by factors that include an aging population and the introduction of the Medicare prescription drug benefit, which increased prescription coverage to the previously uninsured and underinsured, and provided generous plan benefits to seniors."

Looking ahead, IMS expects U.S. prescription sales growth to decline in 2007, but remain in the range of 6 to 9 percent compounded annual growth through 2010 as the Medicare Part D benefit is annualized and more generic products enter the market, driving the cost of prescriptions lower.

Source: BusinessWire.com