The Global Use of Medicines: Outlook Through 2016. Report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics
(2012; 36 pages)


The future level of global spending on medicines underscores the similar challenges of access and affordability which face those who consume and pay for healthcare around the world.

In the developed markets, including the United States and Europe, the current economic downturn will amplify many of the long-term concerns about aging populations afflicted with expensive chronic diseases and the desire by all healthcare stakeholders to control costs. Across countries, similar policies are already being implemented to rein in spending on expensive therapies, increase the use of generics, address pricing directly through price cuts or indirectly via discounts or rebates, and develop a market for biosimilars as a lower-cost alternative to original biologics.

Alternatively, the fast growing pharmerging markets will be driven predominantly by economic gains and rising incomes. This rise in incomes, particularly for the lowest earners, coupled with government commitments to support expanded access to basic healthcare services, will make medicines more broadly available and affordable to millions of people.

Further, new therapies for a range of diseases affecting both developed and developing world populations are currently, or will soon become, available transforming patient care. Despite this progress, however, significant gaps remain in the drug arsenal.

In this report we quantify these factors and examine the spending and usage of medicines globally through 2016. We intend this report to provide a foundation for meaningful discussion about the value, cost and role of medicines in healthcare over the next five years. Our report was developed as a public service without industry or government funding.

The WHO Essential Medicines and Health Products Information Portal was designed and is maintained by Human Info NGO. Last updated: December 1, 2019