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21 Nov 2013

Drug Companies ‘Poised to Cash in on Obamacare’s Coverage Expansion

Despite the noteworthy criticism that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is attracting, pharmaceutical companies will have something to cheer about as the sale of prescription drugs is expected to skyrocket by 2021, says an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.


Prior to the implementation of Obamacare, the total value of pharmaceutical products consumed in the US (prescription drugs and non-durable medical equipment only) was approximately $300 billion in 2009 — close to a global market share of 40%, according to GlobalData.


The company now expects the total value of pharmaceutical products to grow by a massive 88.6% to $565.2 billion by 2021, with prescription drugs accounting for approximately 85.5% ($483 billion) of these expenditures, as a result of implementation of the ACA’s provisions.


Adefemi Adenuga, GlobalData’s Analyst covering Healthcare Industry Dynamics, says: “This signifies a considerable payday for drug companies in the US market, particularly those developing and marketing prescription drugs for chronic and age-related diseases.”


The key drivers of this additional growth are the expected increase in the volume of individual and group insurance coverage, as well as coverage-related expansions, particularly of government programmes such as Medicaid.


Adenuga continues: “The implementation of the ACA’s provisions will result in an explosion in prescription drug spending, especially on products that treat high prescription volume diseases, such as pain, high cholesterol and blood pressure, anxiety and depression.”


Although drug manufacturers are faced with new fees and taxes, Adenuga says that the potential surge in sales presents a trade-off that is hard to ignore.

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