Pharma companies (or their investors) may be all depressed wishing that the good old days of fat pipelines and long patent protection windows were still here. But now and again it’s worth considering how big Big Pharma actually is. And, as IMS health reports, it’s big. And it’s not just here in the US anymore (although this remains the biggest and most profitable market).
IMS Health (NYSE: RX), the world’s leading provider of market intelligence to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, today announced that 2005 total global pharmaceutical sales grew 7 percent at constant exchange rates, to $602 billion. In the ten major markets, audited growth was 5.7 percent in 2005, compared with 7.2 percent the previous year.
In 2005, North America, which accounts for 47 percent of global pharmaceutical sales, grew 5.2 percent, to $265.7 billion, while Europe experienced somewhat higher growth of 7.1 percent, to $169.5 billion. Sales in Latin America grew an exceptional 18.5 percent to $24 billion, while Asia Pacific (outside of Japan) and Africa grew 11 percent to $46.4 billion. Japan, the world’s second largest market, which has historically posted slower growth rates, performed strongly in 2005, growing 6.8 percent to $60.3 billion, its highest year-over-year growth since 1991.
So consider that worldwide pharma spending now slightly exceeds the biggest chunk of US health spending (hospital care @ $588 billion).