Generics drive U.S. drug sales growth
Unbranded drug sales grew 22 percent in 2006, driving U.S. prescription drug sales up 8.3 percent to $274.9 billion during the year. According to IMS Health, which released annual sales figures March 8, strong generic sales were driven by Teva's simvastatin (Zocor), which generated $911 million in sales, and Apotex's generic clopidogrel (Plavix), which brought in $902 million. Medicare Part D was the other major sales growth driver, with prescriptions dispensed through the federal program accounting for 17 percent of retail scripts by the end of the year, IMS says. Biotech segment sales jumped 20 percent to $40.3 billion, driven by Amgen's Aranesp (up 42 percent to $3.9 billion), Enbrel (up 12 percent to $3.1 billion) and Neulasta (up 28 percent to $2.9 billion). Total U.S. prescription volume grew 4.6 percent in 2006 compared to 3.3 percent growth in 2005...
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