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Speedy Turnaround in Latin America

Increased support for CME programs in Latin America ought to be coming soon. Spending was hurt over the past couple of years by a nosedive in pharmaceutical sales. That picture has changed dramatically in recent months: Argentina, hardest hit by economic problems, is up by 52% in retail pharmacy purchases in the 12- month period ending March 2004, according to IMS Health. Brazil, also negatively impacted, is up 24%, and Mexico, which had been relatively flat, is up 11%.

Overall, sales for these 3 leading markets at $12.5 billion were up 20% (from a very low base), well ahead of the rest of the world's major markets. By comparison, U.S. sales at $165 billion were up 10%, still a faster growth rate than Germany and France (both 6%), Italy and Japan (both 3%). By therapeutic category, cardiovascular drugs led the pack at $63 billion (up 8%), followed closely by CNS product at $60 billion (up 14%).

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