Questions about the industry

A number of questions arise when we think about the current state of the pharmaceutical industry:

  • Why is there an increasing need for pharmaceuticals?
  • Why have medications become so complex?
  • What factors have led to the growth of the pharmaceutical industry?

This article explores these questions.

Global needs drive growth of pharmaceutical industry

Aging population

Worldwide, the average human life span has increased substantially over the last few decades. However, more infections and diseases have come along with this longevity growth. This has led to increased research on aging populations. The goals are to prevent infections and maintain health so that these populations can enjoy better lives.

Changing lifestyles

Hectic daily schedules have led to unhealthy eating habits, a lack of exercise, less sleep, and other problematic lifestyle choices. This has resulted in high obesity rates, poor digestion, hallucinations, breathing difficulties, and other physical problems. Health supplements have been introduced to remedy all of these issues, reduce the chance of getting sick, and meet daily nutritional needs through vitamins and minerals.

Increased income and chronic diseases

The middle class has been growing in both the emerging and developed markets. People in these markets have more disposable income and expect better healthcare solutions.

Chronic disease cases have risen in number. This has made people become more dependent on medications and health supplements.

Other economic trends

Globalization and urbanization have led to increased environmental disturbances. These are major driving forces in the growing demand for improved medication and health supplements for each age group and geographic location.

Industry players

Companies like Abbott Laboratories (ABT), Novartis AG (NVS), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA) are constantly looking at consumer needs and upgrading drugs based on research and innovation. All four of these companies are part of the VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH).

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