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Global drug sales grew 6.4 pct in 2007-IMS report

The global prescription drug market grew by 6.4 percent in 2007 to an estimated $712 billion, according to data compiled by IMS Health.

While the United States remained the largest market at $286.5 billion in sales, it contributed only a quarter of the growth to the global market last year -- its lowest ever level of contribution, IMS said.

In a report last month, IMS said 2007 U.S. prescription drug sales grew at the slowest rate since 1961 at 3.8 percent.

The five major European markets -- France, Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain -- saw drug sales grow by 4.8 percent to $140 billion, while Russia and Turkey experienced the largest growth rate among other European markets.

Asian markets, excluding Japan, Australia and New Zealand, grew by 13.3 percent to claim 11 percent of the total global market, while the Japanese pharmaceutical market edged up 3.6 percent in 2007, according to the report released on Tuesday.

Latin American markets grew by 11.6 percent to $42.4 billion, IMS said.
Cancer medicines pulled ahead of cholesterol-lowering drugs as the top worldwide therapeutic category last year with sales of $41.4 billion to $33.7 billion, according to IMS. Cholesterol drugs remained tops in the U.S. market.

Respiratory medicines at $28.6 billion, the heartburn drugs known as proton pump inhibitors, such as AstraZeneca's Nexium, at $25.6 billion, and diabetes treatments at $24.1 billion, round out the top five categories, IMS said.


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