According to a new report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, the total global spending on medicines will reach $1 trillion next year, climbing to $1.2 trillion by 2017.

In 2012 the total spending on medicines stood at $965 billion, which was a 2.6 percent increase on the previous year. In the period leading to 2017, the market is forecast to grow by three to six percent per year, the analysis found.

The key factors that will drive global drug markets are better access to medicines due to rising disposable income in developing countries and more favorable economic conditions in emerging markets, IMS Health said.

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In terms of specific sub-sectors, IMS Health predicts that the biggest growth will be seen in specialty medicines, which typically stand at the high end of the market, such as medicines for treatment of cancer. Global spending on this group of drugs is likely to grow 38 percent between 2012 and 2017, reaching between $230 billion and $240 billion at the end of the forecast period.

Through 2017, IMS Health expects that an average of 35 major new medicines considered capable of transforming current treatment practices will be launched on an annual basis. The vast majority of newly launched drugs will be intended to meet needs that have not been addressed so far or that affect a very small number of patients, the analysis said.