The total market value of drugs to treat coronary heart disease (CHD) could reach $15 billion in 2007 and $23 billion in 2012, according to research firm Decisions Resources Inc. Newer, more expensive statins such as AstraZeneca's Crestor will help drive this growth, the researchers report. "Less potent statins will be replaced with more-expensive and more-potent statins like Crestor," says Nicola Maidwell, an analyst at Decision Resources. The number of cases of CHD reportedly will increase from 187 million in 2002 to 217 million in 2012. CHD, which occurs when plaque deposits partly narrow coronary vessels, is a leading cause of death in the major pharmaceutical markets (United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and Japan). The American Heart Association estimates that CHD costs the Medicare system more than $10 billion each year.