Sales growth in the U.S. prescription drug market slowed to the lowest rate in 46 years in 2007 as more brand-name drugs lost their exclusivity to generics and new product approvals declined, according to a report issued Wednesday.Sales came to $286.5 billion in 2007, up 3.8 percent, IMS Health said in its annual U.S. Pharmaceutical Market Performance Review. The rate of growth was the lowest since 1961, when sales increased by 3.3 percent.
In contrast, prescription drug sales grew by 8 percent in 2006.
Growth moderated beginning in 2001, but picked up in 2006 with the start of the federally subsidized prescription drug program for seniors, Norwalk-based IMS Health said. However, growth slowed again last year.
The Medicare Part D program accounted for 19 percent of retail prescriptions at the end of last year, a modest increase over 2006 “and reflective of a maturing program,” IMS said in its report. It said 65 percent of Americans 65 and older are now enrolled in the program.