Ageing population: When gray matters! 17 Jan 2013

Ageing Population – When Gray Matters!

You must have heard the story of Peter Pan from Never Land where everyone remained young and never grew old! Our world today, is moving towards the other extreme of a largely graying population. Further, this trend is even stronger in the more developed nations of the world. Population ageing is a reality today. It is a trend where the median or average age of the population rises in a region. The median age among the more developed countries has been increasing from 29 years in the 1950’s to over 37years in 2000; and is expected to rise to over 45 years by 2050. This is due to one or a combination of the following factors – rising life expectancy and/or falling birth rates.

Old People

As a result of the ageing populations, the expenditure of people and their respective governments towards healthcare sector is expected to increased manifold. Statistics show that the average spending for retired households is more twice that of non-retired households. This spending increases further as the age bracket moves up from 60 to 70 years and so on. While this does not hold much good news for the global economy on the whole, it does augur well for the pharmaceutical industry. It represents an extremely huge potential market with new opportunities and areas to focus on; for sustainable long term growth prospects.

Trends to watch

Top health concerns for an ageing population are loss of mental health and cognitive abilities; and loss of physical health including mobility, heart and sensory impairments. As a pharma major aspiring to capture this market segment, these are areas that you need to focus your research and development efforts into.

Preventive medication and care is another area that matters to a health conscious ageing population. Medication to prevent or delay the onset of ageing signs – varying from memory issues to hair loss or even heart problems is something that should not be ignored.

Food and nutrition supplements that cater to age related deficiencies and deliver the desired doses of vitamins, nutrients, minerals is an extremely niche area that you can look to explore. To enter this segment and reap its full benefits, it would make sense to tie-up with a food products company. While food manufacturers face increasing regulatory pressures to prove such a product’s efficacy, a joint venture between them a pharmaceutical company can benefit both as well as the ageing market.

Another trend to keep in mind is this segment’s desire to look and feel young forever. A partnership with a cosmetic and body care or fitness service provider could help you cater to products in this niche, besides offering you a ready market to launch your products.

In short

A global trend that is seen as bane for the global economy on the whole, can actually be made into a boon by the pharma sector. What is required is the right dose of vision and focus to convert this gray area into a silver mine that yields rewards for years to come.

– Research Optimus

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