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Gaze into the pharmaceutical crystal ball and you will see a hefty increase in the worldwide use of medicines over the next five years.

By 2020, an estimated 4.5 trillion doses of prescription drugs will be used by patients, up 24 percent from this year. In particular, increased usage is expected to jump in China, Brazil, India, and Indonesia, where the middle class is expected to swell and have greater access to health care, according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, a unit of IMS Health, the market research firm.


Meanwhile, global spending on medicines is forecast to reach $1.4 trillion, an increase of between 29 percent and 32 percent from 2015, according to the IMS report. This amounts to a compounded annual growth rate of 4 percent to 7 percent over the next five years. However, this trails the 35 percent increase in spending that was seen between 2010 and 2015.

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