Global market for Alzheimer's drugs to rise 15% per year

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The Alzheimer's disease drug market in the United States, Europe and Japan will expand by 15% annually for the next five years, according to a study by Millennium Research Group of Toronto.

The study profiles pharmaceutical manufacturers including Pfizer, Shire Pharmaceuticals and Novartis. These companies all produce products for the Alzheimer's drug market. Last year, this market generated more than $1.3 billion in the U.S. Alzheimer's medications on the global market, meanwhile, brought in revenues of more than $2.6 billion in 2004.

While demand for current Alzheimer's drugs is great, the medical world is still looking for successful disease modification and prevention treatments, experts say.

"What doctors want to see is something that modifies the progression of the disease," said Naissan Vahman, a senior analyst at Millennium. "Some of the drugs in the pipeline are focused on trying to get disease modification."