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Drug Sales Globally Continue to Increase

IMS HEALTH, a worldwide health care information company, reported on August 1, 2002, an 11% rise in drug sales through retail pharmacies in 13 key markets in the 12-month period from June 2001 through May 2002, accumulated to a whooping US$263 billion. IMS HEALTH is the world's leading provider of data for the pharmaceutical and health care industries. They normally use leading-edge technologies to rework vast amounts of pharmaceutical records collected from thousands of sources worldwide into statistical data which can be used by drug companies to trace sales.

Some interesting statistics demonstrated that the united states takes the lead in drug usage growth. In accordance with IMS Health, North America posted a 16% sales growth to $146 billion in sales within the calendar year just before May 2002. The USA showed the top growth at constant exchange and is the nation with the highest dollar increase in their survey, for the fourth consecutive month. Comparatively sales within the top 5 European markets dropped 1% point, as did the sales in Japan. By categories the biggest increase was noticed in drugs used for the nervous system. As per IMS Health the largest increase worldwide, for the 8th consecutive month, was the CNS group of products, with a sales growth of 16% to $45.3 billion. Antidepressant drugs experienced an 18 percent sales growth in 2000, to $13.4 billion which included 4.2 percent of most global pharmaceutical sales. North America was the dominant user of such drugs, making up 74.6 percent of sales with a 19 percent rate of growth. Strangely enough, in Europe, sales fell by 1 %, as the Africa/Asia/Australia region and Latin America, included only 4.5 percent and 2.4 percent sales growth, respectively. Prozac was the leading product in the class with a market share of 21.5 percent. With such disparities among drug sales globally, the question begs to be asked if Americans are afflicted by a bigger selection of medical issues, is there a problem with over-medication? With 74.6% of all antidepressant drugs offered in North America, one must ask if there are truly health related issues that account for the main difference, or are the numbers due to a "Quick fix" drug culture. Chiropractic has been the one profession in the health care arena that has consistently touted a drug free approach as an alternative to medication.

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