About one-quarter of the prescription drugs sold in the U.S., Canada and Europe contain active ingredients derived from plants. With only an estimated 5% to 15% of the approximately 250,000 higher plants having been investigated for bioactive compounds, pharmaceutical companies and researchers are searching for new plant-derived drugs, spending millions on screening various plants and developing new uses for known herbal remedies and conducting experiments with blends of different herbals.

According to an updated report from Business Communications Company Inc., the worldwide sales of plant-derived drugs in 2002 are estimated at $13.7 billion, an increase of $800 million or 6.2% from 2001 levels, and are expected to reach $18.8 billion by 2007. The North American market accounts for 50% of the global plant-derived drug market in 2002.

For a copy of the report, RB-121N Plant-Derived Drugs: Products, Technologies, Applications, contact Business Communications Company Inc., 203-853-4266, ext. 309, publisher@bccresearch.com.