The global market for pharmaceuticals is expected to grow nearly $300bn over the next five years, to reach $1.1trn in 2014, according to a new report by IMS health.

The report sees record growth across the industry driven mainly by leading drugs losing patent protection as well as a huge growth in emerging markets such as China, which is forecast to become the world’s third-largest market by 2011.

According to IMS, global sales growth of 4-6% can be expected this year from $837bn in 2009.

IMS’s senior vice president Murray Aitken said that patient demand for pharmaceuticals will remain robust, despite the economic downturn.

“In developed markets with publicly funded healthcare plans, pressure to curb drug spending will only intensify, but that will be more than offset by the rapid expansion of demand,” Aitken said.

A shifting geographic balance of the pharmaceutical market is likely to play a major part with pharmerging markets expected to grow at a 14-17% pace through 2014, while major developed markets will grow by 3-6%.

As a result, the aggregate growth through to 2014 from pharmerging markets will be similar to the growth experienced in developed markets – between $120bn and $140bn.

The growing availability of low-cost generic options in many chronic therapy areas is also expected to create growth where there is significant unmet clinical needs.

In the areas of oncology, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and HIV, IMS sees annual growth exceeding 10% through 2014 as new drugs are brought to market.

Despite patent expiries in the USA peaking in 2011 and 2012, the USA will remain the single largest market, with 3-6% growth expected annually in the next five years, reaching $360-$390bn in 2014.