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World's Drug Bill to Rise to $1.4 Trillion in 2020, Report Says

The world’s annual pharmaceutical bill will grow by about a third to $1.4 trillion in 2020 as brand-name drugs for cancers and rare diseases come to market, according to researchers at the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

Among the report’s top findings:

  • So-called specialty therapies will dominate spending, with oncology treatments totaling $110 billion, followed by autoimmune drugs. Treatments for viral hepatitis, including Gilead Science Inc.’s hepatitis C drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni along with AbbVie Inc.’s Viekira Pak, will make up $48 billion.


  • The U.S. will spend the most on drugs, with 41 percent of the global bill. China will spend $150 billion to $180 billion in 2020, representing a 6 percent to 9 percent compound annual growth rate. The global growth rate is 4 percent to 7 percent.

  • IMS estimates 225 new treatments will be introduced in the next five years. Of these, drugs for rare diseases and cancers will dominate.


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