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In Africa, a limited number of market audits are performed by IMS. South Africa showed near flat growth compared with both Q1 2008 and full-year 2007. French West Africa, a regional grouping that includes the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Gabon, Senegal, Congo, Benin, Guinea, Togo, Mali and Burkina, grew consistently for three quarters over Q1 2008, and growth continued into Q1 2009.

Global Volume Consumption Index: Acute and Chronic Medicines

Many medicines can be categorized based on whether their primary use is to treat chronic or acute diseases. Experience of the 1997 Asian financial crisis suggests that changes in the economic environment would lead to a decline in volume of those medicines used to treat chronic diseases. While medicines used to treat acute diseases also can be affected, the trends can be more volatile.

Outside Europe, there are few signs that consumption of chronic medicines is declining. Of note is strong growth in both acute and chronic medicine consumption in China, Algeria, Ecuador and Brazil through 2008. In the first quarter of 2009, growth appears to have slowed in Ecuador. In Brazil, while growth in both acute and chronic medicine categories in 2008 was consistent in both the private sector and that part of the public sector monitored by IMS, there appears to have been a drop in public sector volume in the first quarter of 2009.

In Europe, declines in consumption within the Czech Republic and Russia might owe more to changes in the health system rather than economic factors. In Russia, the public sector (not monitored by IMS) is already taking an increasingly significant role, notably in the treatment of cancer. And in the Czech Republic, implementation of healthcare registration fees has led to a significant reduction in demand for prescriptions and the number of items on those prescriptions. Q1 2009 data from the Czech Republic suggests that the volume of chronic medicines appears to have recovered. In Estonia, however, total volume of both acute and chronic medicines seems to be on the decline both in 2008 and in the first quarter of 2009.

Global Volume Consumption Index: Original and Licensed Brands Versus Other Brands and Unbranded Pharmaceuticals

Medicines can be divided into two broad categories: original brands plus licensed brands; and other brands plus unbranded medications. Original brands are products developed by private companies that have invested in research and development. This R&D investment is rewarded via market exclusivity and the application of intellectual property

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