Total global spending on prescription drugs could reach $1.4 trillion by 2020, according to a new report.

The ‘Global Medicines Use in 2020’ report from IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics says that increased patient access to medicines across the world and high-priced drugs for chronic diseases will result in a compound annual growth rate of four to seven percent over the next five years.

It adds that the average cost per dose will be 30 cents by 2020, and 4.5 trillion doses of medicine will be dispensed, an increase of 24 percent from 2015.

The report also predicts that around 255 new drugs will come to market over that time, about a third of which will be for the treatment of cancer. The cost of these new treatments will be partially offset by increasing patent expirations which could reduce spending on branded medicines by $178 billion.

The total spend on drugs this year is estimated to be about $1.07 trillion.

"We are now getting much more value for every dollar we spend because we can get decades' worth of innovation, most of it incredibly cheaply because generics are widely available," commented Michael Kleinrock, research director for the IMS Institute.