Data Science

Global Medicine Spending to Reach $1.6 Trillion in 2025 Excluding Spending on COVID-19 Vaccines, According to IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science Study

[April 29, 2021]

Global spending on medicines – using invoice price levels – is expected to grow at 3-6 percent CAGR through 2025 to reach about $1.6 trillion by 2025, excluding spending of COVID-19 vaccines, according to a new research report The Global Spending and Usage of Medicines released by the IQVIA™ Institute for Human Data Science. The total cumulative spending on COVID-19 vaccines through 2025 is projected to be $157 billion, largely focused on the initial wave of vaccinations to be completed by 2022. In subsequent years, booster shots are expected to be required on a biannual basis as the durability of immunity and the continued emergence of viral variants make an endemic virus the most likely outcome.

“While the pandemic has been extremely disruptive, the pre-pandemic forces of medicine use and spending remain significant drivers of the outlook, and these forces have only been modestly impacted by the immediate effects of COVID-19,” said Murray Aitken, IQVIA senior vice president and executive director of the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science. “The success of countries around the world in implementing a global vaccination program – unprecedented in speed and scope – will be key to the outlook for all medicine use through 2025 and beyond.”

A few key highlights of the report include:

  • Substantial global market variations: There are strong variations in medicine usage and spending across global markets. Growth in global medicine spending will be lifted by stronger pharmerging market growth through 2025 and offset by developed markets where slower growth will result as losses of exclusivity for original brands outweigh increased spending on newly launched innovative products.
  • Pharmerging markets: In pharmerging markets, growth will be led by China, which is expected to accelerate post-COVID driven by greater uptake and use of new original medicines.
  • The U.S. market: On a net price basis, the U.S. market is forecast to grow 0-3 percent CAGR over the next five years, down from 3 percent CAGR for the past five years.
  • Japan: As the third largest global market, Japan will have flat-to-declining medicine spending as a result of the continued biennial price cut policy but see rising patent-protected original brand spending coinciding with policies to encourage a shift to generics for older medicines.
  • Europe: Spending in Europe is expected to increase 2-5 percent CAGR or a total of $35 billion over the next five years to 2025.
  • Novel medicines: New brands in eveloped markets through 2025 are projected to be similar in absolute spending for the last five years, continuing a historically high period of spending on novel medicines. The number of new active substances launches are also projected to continue at an above-average rate, with an average of 54-63 per year, totaling 290-315 for five years through 2025.
  • Loss of brand exclusivity and rise in biosimilars: The impact of exclusivity losses will increase to $166 billion over the next five years mostly due to the availability of biosimilars, and the cumulative savings from biosimilars will reach an estimated $285 billion.
  • Therapy area growth: The two leading global therapy areas – oncology and immunology – are each forecast to grow 9-12 percent CAGR through 2025, lifted by significant increases in new treatments and medicine use. Oncology is projected to add 100 new treatments over five years, contributing to an increase in spending of more than $100 billion to a total of more than $260 billion in 2025. Immunology growth is projected to slow from the 17.3 percent CAGR over the past five years as biosimilars bring lower cost treatments offsetting growth from volume and drug launches. In addition, many new therapies are expected in neurology including novel migraine therapies, potential treatments for rare neurological diseases and the potential for therapies for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

The full version of the report, including a detailed description of the methodology, is available at The study was produced independently as a public service, without industry or government funding.

About the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science

The IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science contributes to the advancement of human health globally through timely research, insightful analysis and scientific expertise applied to granular non-identified patient-level data.

Fulfilling an essential need within healthcare, the Institute delivers objective, relevant insights and research that accelerate understanding and innovation critical to sound decision making and improved human outcomes. With access to IQVIA’s institutional knowledge, advanced analytics, technology and unparalleled data, the Institute works in tandem with a broad set of healthcare stakeholders to drive a research agenda focused on Human Data Science, including government agencies, academic institutions, the life sciences industry and payers. More information about the IQVIA Institute can be found at


IQVIA (NYSE:IQV) is a leading global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions, and clinical research services to the life sciences industry. IQVIA creates intelligent connections across all aspects of healthcare through its analytics, transformative technology, big data resources and extensive domain expertise. IQVIA Connected Intelligence™ delivers powerful insights with speed and agility – enabling customers to accelerate the clinical development and commercialization of innovative medical treatments that improve healthcare outcomes for patients. With approximately 72,000 employees, IQVIA conducts operations in more than 100 countries.

IQVIA is a global leader in protecting individual patient privacy. The company uses a wide variety of privacy-enhancing technologies and safeguards to protect individual privacy while generating and analyzing information on a scale that helps healthcare stakeholders identify disease patterns and correlate with the precise treatment path and therapy needed for better outcomes. IQVIA’s insights and execution capabilities help biotech, medical device and pharmaceutical companies, medical researchers, government agencies, payers and other healthcare stakeholders tap into a deeper understanding of diseases, human behaviors and scientific advances, in an effort to advance their path toward cures. To learn more, visit

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Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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