U.S. prescription drug sales increased by 8.3% to $274 billion last year, bolstered by the Medicare prescription drug benefit, generic drug sales and other factors, according to a report released Thursday by IMS Health, the AP/Long Island Newsday reports. The report found that U.S. prescription drug sales increased by 5.8% to $253.7 billion in 2005. Prescription drugs dispensed under the Medicare drug benefit accounted for 17% of retail prescriptions by the end of 2006, the first year of the prescription drug benefit, the report found. The report also found that sales of generic drugs rose by 22% to $27.4 billion, driven by sales of generic versions of blockbuster drugs such as the cholesterol drug Zocor and the antidepressant Zoloft. In addition, IMS found that several new drugs performed well in 2006, including Pfizer's cancer treatment Sutent and diabetes drugs from Eli Lily and Merck. The report predicted that sales growth of prescription drugs will slow but remain in a compounded annual rate of between 6% and 9% through 2010 as the Medicare drug benefit is annualized and more generic products are approved (Agovino, AP/Albany Times Union, 3/11).
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Publication Date: 2007-03-16 01:00