August 26, 2002
Datamonitor Report Predicts European Supplement SalesGrowth
NEW YORK--In two recent analyses of the state of the dietarysupplement industry, it was reported that 1) Europeans are taking better care ofthemselves, in turn driving steady growth in supplement sales and 2)pharmaceutical companies both overseas and in the States should jump on thecomplementary medicine bandwagon, especially in terms of cancer care.
European consumers are increasingly self-treating health conditions, drivingsales growth of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and supplements, according toindustry analyst Datamonitor's new report, Self-medication. According tothe new report, trends over recent years have shown consumers are taking moreresponsibility for their own health. As a result, Datamonitor predicted theEuropean OTC market will grow at a rate of 2.5 percent per year until 2006,while sales of vitamins, minerals and supplements will average 3.2 percentgrowth per year.
"The most significant barrier to the wider acceptance and use ofcomplementary medicine is a general lack of information," according toDatamonitor (www.datamonitor.com)."There are some gender differences here: Men tend to trust conventionalmedicine and largely want symptomatic relief, whereas women are far lesstrusting of the pharmaceutical industry and desire more holisticsolutions."
Regardless of these gender differences, Datamonitor noted the majority ofrespondents (of both sexes) reported they would accept a recommendation from afriend, local doctor or a recognized, independent body. Datamonitor predictedopportunity lies with "products that actively contribute to the curativeprocess and those non-medical products such as comfort foods consumers feel theyshould have when ill."
Datamonitor also advised, in a report released in late June, that drugdevelopers should research and promote natural therapies in combination withcancer drugs, especially since as many as 80 percent of American cancer patientsuse complementary therapies. The company stated that pharmaceutical companiesare perceived as highly credible and have the resources to disseminateinformation about combining such therapies. In addition, Datamonitor suggestedpharmaceutical companies should conduct their own investigations of noveltherapeutic compounds that could be patented, branded and licensed.
"Annual sales of some non-standard therapies are continuing to grow interms of market value and impact on the cancer arena as a whole," saidSharon Arkoff, oncology analyst for Datamonitor. Currently, worldwide use ofcomplementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among cancer patients isapproximately 30 percent to 35 percent, and at specialty oncologist centerspromoting CAM programs, it is estimated to be 80 percent.
In its report, Datamonitor targeted specific therapies that should beresearched further for fighting cancer. Gerson therapies, Gonzalez treatments,macrobiotic diets and fasting approaches have shown promise in detoxification,while the orthomolecular diet, created by Linus Pauling, utilizes high-dosevitamins, minerals and hormones to restore the body's nutrient balance. VitaminsC, D and E, folic acid and beta-carotene, as well as the mineral selenium, arealso highlighted by Datamonitor as potential cancer fighters.
Promising herbal treatments are also included in the report, such as Hoxsey(containing poke root, burdock root, barberry root, buckthorn bark and stillingaroot), essiac tea (containing burdock root, Indian rhubarb, sorrel and slipperyelm), mistletoe, saw palmetto and green tea. The report also stated mind andbody approaches for treating cancer are also popular, such as Ayurveda,homeopathy, aromatherapy, acupuncture, reflexology and visualization.
Datamonitor reported patients using CAM therapies reap the most benefits whencombining them with conventional cancer treatments. "[C]omplementary andalternative therapies have their chief advantages over traditional therapy interms of quality of life measures such as compliance and suitability for chronictherapy," Arkoff noted, "but lag behind traditional medicines intherapeutic effectiveness or commercial success compared to that of traditionalproducts."
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