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Apr 20, 2010 1:01 PM by Associated Press

Price controls expected to slow drug sales in 2010

A health industry researcher says pharmaceutical sales growth worldwide will slow this year due to
expiring patents for blockbuster drugs and tighter price controls imposed by European governments.

Health industry data firm IMS Health expects global prescription drug sales growth to slow to between 4 and 6 percent compared with 7 percent in 2009. IMS says U.S. pharmaceutical sales growth will be slightly slower, in the 3 percent to 5 percent range.

Pharmaceutical companies have struggled for more than a decade to replace blockbuster drugs developed in the 1990s. With the increasing expiration of drug patents, pharmaceutical sales growth has fallen from double-digit advances early last decade to single-digit growth.

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