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A new report published by Fast Market Research predicts that the ongoing reforms in the U.S. pharmaceutical and healthcare industries are only going to bring slight commercial benefit to companies operating in the sector.

The report estimates that expenditure on pharmaceuticals in 2013 will register a minor decline of 0.5 percent, dipping to $341.2 billion from $343 billion in 2012. Predictions made during the final quarter of 2013 were a notch higher but have been revised under the influence of macroeconomic factors.

As for healthcare expenditure, the report forecasts growth of 6.3 percent to $2.98 trillion, up on $2.8 trillion in 2012. Despite the fact that this was also given a slight downward revision, the market remains very appealing to international drugmakers, the report pointed out.

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The report offers a look back at the major developments and trends of 2013 as far as Affordable Care Act is concerned. Authors of the report commented that implementation of the reforms of the U.S. healthcare system will be challenging because of the strong opposition and criticism they face. However, the changes are expected to continue over the next few years, primarily because of the need to control growth in spending on medical services.

One of the major issues listed in the report was the federal marketplace's information technology system, which cost an estimated $400 million to create but is still experiencing technical difficulties. In addition, the government's consumer online portal,, is also suffering problems with accessibility and usability, the report concluded.