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TRENTON, N.J. — As criticism of soaring prescription drug prices in the U.S. grows, global spending on medicines is expected to rise 3 percent to 6 percent annually for the next five years, according to a new forecast from IMS Health.

The health data firm predicts global spending will increase by about 30 percent cumulatively from about $1 trillion now to about $1.3 trillion in 2020, driven by expensive new drugs, price hikes, aging populations and increased generic drug use in developing countries.

The increase would be higher but for a huge, looming wave of patents for expensive brand-name pills expiring over that stretch, allowing cheaper generic versions to then enter the market.

Here are some key findings from the report, called “Global Medicines Use in 2020: Outlook and Implications.”

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New York Times

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