Global Medical Foods Market: Snapshot
The global medical foods market has become increasingly important in the healthcare sector in recent years due to the rising awareness about its importance in complementing the treatment. Medical food comprises diets designed specifically to overcome the nutritional deficiencies caused by some diseases or to fulfill the specific dietary needs in the management of some diseases. The global medical foods market is likely to receive steady support from the healthcare sector in the coming years due to the rising prevalence of diseases such as Alzheimer’s among the elderly and ADHD among children, as these diseases are among the prime diseases that necessitate specific diet plans.
Global Medical Foods Market: Key Trends
The rising geriatric population is a major driver for the global medical foods market. Old people are more likely to develop nutritional disorders as well as to fall prey to other diseases that affect their ability to absorb nutrients from their diet. Nutrition deficiency disorders are also more common among the geriatric demographic than in other patient classes, leading to the geriatric population becoming a key consumer segment for the global medical foods market.
The increasing prevalence of diabetes across the world is another key driver for the global medical foods market. Diabetic neuropathy is the leading application of the global medical foods market and is likely to retain dominance in the coming years. Diabetic neuropathy is becoming common among diabetic patients due to their often unhealthy lifestyles, with close to three-quarters of all diabetes likely to also suffer from some form of neuropathy. This is a key driver for the global medical food market, as the rising prevalence of diabetes in emerging regions has, in conjunction with the rising investment in the healthcare sector, created a conducive environment for growth of the market.
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The rising prevalence of ADHD among children is also likely to remain a key driver for the global medical foods market. The growing prevalence of the disease has led to intensive research into its causation and treatment. The role of nutrition in the management of psychological problems such as ADHD has thus come under the scanner. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the rising prevalence of neurodegenerative conditions among the geriatric population is also likely to remain a key driver for the global medical foods market in the coming years.
Global Medical Foods Market: Market Potential
The global medical foods market is likely to witness a steady shift towards pills and away from powders. While powders can be easily mixed with various types of food, many patients don’t enjoy their taste. This has led to pills becoming a preferred mode of delivery for many, and are thus likely to rise in demand in the global medical foods market in the coming years.
Apart from leading diseases such as diabetic neuropathy and Alzheimer’s, other diseases such as phenylketonuria (PKU) are also likely to come under the ambit of the medical food market in the coming years. In April 2017, PKU Sphere, a new medical food for patients of PKU was launched. PKU Sphere is claimed to contain a balanced mix of amino acids and glycomacropeptide, a protein essential for patients of PKU, who can’t digest phenylalanine and have to fulfill their protein requirements in alternate ways.
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Global Medical Foods Market: Geographical Dynamics
North America is likely to remain the leading regional contributor to the global medical foods market in the coming years due to the ready availability of advanced healthcare technology and a solid database regarding the dietary needs of patients suffering from various diseases. The rising prevalence of diabetes in North America, due primarily to the unhealthy lifestyle practiced by citizens in developed countries such as the U.S., is also likely to be crucial for the medical foods market in North America in the coming years.
Global Medical Foods Market: Competitive Dynamics
The leading players in the global medical foods market include Abbott, Fresenius Kabi AG, Targeted Medical Pharma Inc., Danone, and Primus Pharmaceuticals Inc. The steady support to development of sophisticated disease-specific formulas is likely to benefit the medical foods market in the coming years.
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