Medical foods will continue to grow in importance over the coming years. There is an increasing prevalence of chronic diseases that are candidates for treatment with medical foods, such as: depression, sleep disorders, posttraumatic stress disorders, obesity, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, and fibromyalgia.
The industry has grown manifolds in last two decades, with most of the growth folding post 2010. Healthcare expenditure has increased not only in developed economies but also developing regions. Moreover, the in-patient to outpatient ratio has almost doubled in last two decades. As such, the industry holds immense potential for companies to capitalize. Various big companies along with emerging entrants are making foray in the market with different go-to-market strategies.The global medical food market is driven by a rise in geriatric population and increase in burden of chronic diseases around the globe. There is a shifting trend toward enteral nutrition (absorption through the gastrointestinal tract) methods rather than parenteral nutrition absorption such as intravenous administration.
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In terms of application, the market can be divided into diabetes management, bone & joint related diseases, Alzheimer disease, depression, medical foods for inborn errors, gastrointestinal diseases, and others. The diabetes management segment held a major market share in 2017, and the trend is expected to continue during forecast period. New product launches and rise in prevalence of diabetes in developed as well as developing countries are major factors boosting the segment.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.
The medical food products are broadly classified as pills, powders, and others. The pills segment includes tablets and capsules. In 2015, the powders segment held the maximum share as majority of medical food products are manufactured in powder form and are administered in a semisolid or liquid form.
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some major key players in this market are Danone; Nestlé; Abbott; Targeted Medical Pharma Inc.; Primus Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Mead Johnson & Company, LLC; and Fresenius Kabi AG. Geographic expansion, new product development, and mergers and acquisitions.