Global Medicine Spending to Reach $1.6 Trillion in 2025

April 29, 2021

Forecast excludes spending on COVID-19 vaccines, according to IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science study.

Global spending on medicines — using invoice price levels — is expected to grow at 3–6 percent CAGR through 2025 to reach approximately $1.6 trillion by 2025, excluding spending of COVID-19 vaccines, according to a new research report, The Global Spending and Usage of Medicines, released by the IQVIA™ Institute for Human Data Science.

The total cumulative spending on COVID-19 vaccines through 2025 is projected to be $157 billion, largely focused on the initial wave of vaccinations to be completed by 2022. In subsequent years, booster shots are expected to be required on a biannual basis as the durability of immunity and the continued emergence of viral variants make an endemic virus the most likely outcome.

“While the pandemic has been extremely disruptive, the pre-pandemic forces of medicine use and spending remain significant drivers of the outlook, and these forces have only been modestly impacted by the immediate effects of COVID-19,” commented Murray Aitken, IQVIA senior vice president, executive director of the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science and member of Pharmaceutical Executive’s Editorial Advisory Board. “The success of countries around the world in implementing a global vaccination program — unprecedented in speed and scope — will be key to the outlook for all medicine use through 2025 and beyond.”

Highlights of the report include:

  • Substantial global market variations: There are strong variations in medicine usage and spending across global markets. Growth in global medicine spending will be lifted by stronger pharmerging market growth through 2025 and offset by developed markets where slower growth will result as losses of exclusivity for original brands outweigh increased spending on newly launched innovative products.
  • The US market: On a net price basis, the U.S. market is forecast to grow 0-3 percent CAGR over the next five years, down from 3 percent CAGR for the past five years.
  • Japan: As the third largest global market, Japan will have flat-to-declining medicine spending as a result of the continued biennial price cut policy but see rising patent-protected original brand spending coinciding with policies to encourage a shift to generics for older medicines.
  • Europe: Spending in Europe is expected to increase 2-5 percent CAGR or a total of $35 billion over the five years to 2025.
  • Novel medicines: The number of new active substances launches are also projected to continue at an above-average rate, with an average of 54–63 per year, totaling 290–315 for five years through 2025.
  • Loss of brand exclusivity and rise in biosimilars: The impact of exclusivity losses will increase to $166 billion over the next five years mostly due to the availability of biosimilars, and the cumulative savings from biosimilars will reach an estimated $285 billion.
  • Therapy area growth: The two leading global therapy areas — oncology and immunology — are each forecast to grow 9-12 percent CAGR through 2025, lifted by significant increases in new treatments and medicine use.

The full version of the report is available at www.IQVIAInstitute.org.