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As part of a long-term prognosis, the international consulting firm Bain & Company has identified global growth in the health market as one of eight structural trends. According to the study, the global gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by 40 percent to 90 billion dollars by the year 2020.

The health sector will continue to be a growth market in connection with this and is developing in a more dynamic way than the global GDP, the study states. Decisive factors for this are technological progress, an aging society, and increasing prosperity in emerging market countries. The increasing demand for treatments, therapeutic agents, and other health services will cause the health market’s turnover to increase by two thirds to altogether ten billion dollars by 2020.

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Commentary: A prospering health market is a world-wide trend; in future, half of its growth will come from emerging market nations and developing countries. In emerging market nations, businesses can benefit from double-digit growth rates each year. Multinational companies like Fresenius, Siemens or Nestlé have already recognized this dynamic growth in markets across Asia, Africa, and Latin America as evidenced by increasing investment projects in emerging markets. Especially the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are the focus of producers of medical technology and food.

Although these aforementioned markets will grow more dynamically than those in industrial countries, the western nations will continue to provide huge potential because of rising health expenses for a population which is aging and afflicted by diseases of civilization, e.g. diabetes and obesity.

In view of the predicted growth the question remains, which market participants will adjust best in future to changes in the health market, for example rising patient sovereignty or growing significance of the private payer market.