PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
London, United Kingdom, 2008/02/16 - Report Buyer, the online destination for business intelligence for major industry sectors, has now added a new report showing that by 2015, almost 16 million Britons over the age of 20 are forecast to be obese.
“Commercial and Pipeline Perspectives: Obesity, Lack of Reimbursement Limits Market Potential” reports that because of the high risk and large number of co-morbidities related with obesity, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, a population with a high rate of obesity represents a huge financial burden for governmental health services. Obesity is defined in most countries as someone with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates there to be at least 400 million clinically obese people worldwide, and the rapidly expanding epidemic shows no signs of slowing. The most rapid increase has been observed in England, where obesity rates have risen three-fold from 1980 to 2001.
The report shows that the huge rise in obesity is down to the over consumption of calories and inadequate physical activity. In practice, this is due to the increasingly sedentary nature of life in western societies combined with an increase in fast food and convenience food consumption. This is especially obvious in Japan, as the increasing westernisation of diet has led to a sharp increase in the prevalence of obesity.
However, the authors of the report note that while there are drugs on the market designed to combat obesity, the use of these drugs has not increased in line with the rise in prevalence of the disease. This is in some measure because those currently on the market are associated with unpleasant side effects. It is also due to a perceived lack of efficacy, in some part at least due to inflated expectations of weight loss on the part of the patients and unwillingness to change their lifestyle. Patients who are motivated to lose weight usually comply with treatment. However, problems commonly occur in maintaining the weight loss and behaviour modification essential to keep the excess weight off.
The study shows that the biggest barrier to widespread up-take is the lack of reimbursement. With the exception of the UK and Spain, obesity drug sales in Europe have declined in recent years, despite there being more obese people now than ever before. Despite the massive patient potential for the treatment of obesity across Europe, the size of the markets have been restricted by the lack of reimbursement and the failure to categorise obesity as a disease rather than a lifestyle condition. Conversely, the UK anti-obesity market has expanded significantly over the period of the last four years, representing 17% of the total global market. This steady growth is due to the reimbursement practices in the UK, where the patient only needs to pay the standard prescription charge for obesity medication.
The report has not identified any products in development that will provide a significant improvement to those currently available. The authors note that an especially worrying trend is that prior to the current generation, obesity has been something that largely developed in adult life. However, we are now seeing children that are essentially growing up obese, promising a huge burden for national health services and tax payers for years to come, with no immediate prospect of a 'silver bullet' cure.
“Commercial and Pipeline Perspectives: Obesity, Lack of Reimbursement Limits Market Potential” is available from Report Buyer. For more information, see website.
Report Buyer product ID: DAT04409
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