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Medicine sales 'set to double by year 2020'

GLOBAL pharmaceutical sales are expected to double to around £660 billion by 2020, according to a new report from business services group PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Ageing populations, rising levels of obesity and a surge in demand from emerging markets, will see demand soar, the authors said.

And it added that seven newly rich countries - Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and Turkey - could account for 20 per cent of all drug revenues by 2020, up from just eight per cent in 2004.

China alone may be the second or third-biggest market in the world, the international consultancy predicted. Last year China's sales of western medicines expanded by 12.3 per cent to £6.8bn, after 20.5 per cent in 2005, according to IMS Health.

But Steve Arlington, head of PwC's global pharmaceutical research and development team, said medicine manufacturers may not be able to keep pace unless they change radically their approach to developing and marketing new drugs.

"The pharma industry will not be in a strong position to capitalise on opportunities unless R&D productivity improves. The core challenge for the industry is a lack of innovation," he said.




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