Future of Herbs Medicine Market ; Bad News
As a business practitioner with basic knowledge in Pharmacy, my opinion ‘bout herbs medicine is negative. Focussing in medicine, meaning that herbs will compete with the conventional drugs which were build by novel technology, and now they reach nanotech level. When they took the alternative medicine position, meaning that their market is in niche level, so small chance to act as head to head opposite partner of conventional drugs.
I’m not just thinking ‘bout scientific mindset, but it’s more ‘bout optimist- realistic business overlook. The herbs and descent products are not limited in cure, but also to promote and prevent, see ? I mean, herbs is part of our traditional life, but in pharmaceutical aspect, it’s lack of dosage information, side effect, and supporting system to reach the modern market who are so well educated with high curiosity level. ( I’m not just talking ‘bout Indonesian market, it’s global market. Later on, Indonesia will be the part of our discussion, soon). The empiric experience in herbs functionality will need more research to get adapt with some various market character and diverse variables.
The market segment for herbs derivatives is’nt just in medicine. But it’s more segmented as functional food, or cosmetics. The capital, human resource, and market factor as the ‘constraint’ in pharmacy business will become consideration for herbs innovation to join the market competition. So, to innovate the end product in nutraceutical, and cosmeceutical will show off their powerfull potencial uses.
For example in Indonesia. The health food supplements market in Indonesia grew 509% between 2002 and 2005. For the near future, sales prospects look good, with steady growth projected in the range of 15% to 25% over the next two years. The market for dietary supplements (excluding traditional Indonesian herbs or jamu) was estimated to be $260 million in 2006, exhibiting a growth rate of 25%.Imports account for over 80% of the Indonesian supplement market, about 60% of which are U.S. products. Of special interest are products related to weight loss and appearance, chronic disease like hy¬pertension and osteoporosis, stamina, sexual health and vitamins.
I’ve collected some notable argument from By Dr. Joerg Gruenwald, President of Analyze & Realize AG (A&G) in Berlin, Germany :
In fact, the greatest potential for new herb and botanical products currently lies in the food sectors, as companies harness the current global consumer interest in natural and functional foods. Some of the latest opportunities include exploring botanical alternatives to animal-sourced ingredients such as omega 3 fatty acids from fish, or finding natural alternatives to artificial additives such as preservatives or colorings. New varieties of fiber are also being discovered, opening up areas for new product development. Other growth sectors include cosmeceuticals and the emerging category of beauty foods.
However, the growth of the herbal/ botanical drug market is not as pronounced as that of the food segments. One reason for that is the long product research and development time, most notably on the drug registration side. In spite of this, there has been a positive development in the U.S., opening up the herbal drug market, which is a sign for future growth of that segment.
In Europe, the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive is expected to have a positive impact on the market because it allows access to the market via a simplified registration procedure without having to carry out unnecessary safety and efficacy assessments. Also, a registration in one country of Europe will apply to all other EC member states, eliminating the hassle of navigating different regulatory requirements for different countries, which was a major downside of the old system.
On the supplement side, a new directive has come into effect. It is still not clear which herbs and botanicals will be able to remain on the market as supplements, so it is difficult to make predictions on successful future supplement ingredients at this time. However, many pharmacologically active herbs will probably need to be registered as herbal medicinal products.
The herbs and botanicals market, as it applies to the dietary supplement, self-medication and functional food segments, is driven by consumer demographics and health concerns. Broadly speaking, these trends include anti-aging, weight control, joint and bone health, digestion/ immunity, cardiovascular health/ diabetes, cognition/memory, female/ male health and the growing wellness and beauty trends. Another trend benefiting the herbs and botanicals market is the natural and exotic ingredients trend, which is taking off in functional foods, as well as medicinal products.
The most recent example involves St. John’s Wort and a study concluding that the herb doesn’t work for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Published in the June 11th issue of JAMA, the study compared St. John’s Wort (300 mg) to a placebo in 54 children (ages 6-17), who took one of the two treatment options for eight weeks. In the end, researchers said the herb didn’t work any better than placebo.
Following publication of the study, the headline of a New York Times article read: “St. John’s Wort Fails to Help Kids With ADHD.” The reporter referred to the use of St. John’s Wort for ADHD as “common” for parents who want to avoid giving their children drugs. The article also said the study results represent “another blow for herbal supplements.” Finally, it said, “The research follows other studies with disappointing results for alternative remedies such as echinacea for the common cold, saw palmetto for prostate problems…”
In response, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), Silver Spring, MD, came forward to point out several crucial flaws. First and foremost, said AHPA president Michael McGuffin, the marketing of St. John’s Wort for ADHD is very uncommon, not common as insinuated in the New York Times article. In fact, the supporting reference for the authors’ assertion was a survey conducted in 2000-2001, which found five out of 117 children with ADHD had taken St. John’s Wort at some time in their life. According to AHPA, these five children had not necessarily taken St. John’s Wort for ADHD and were not necessarily taking it at the time of the survey. In other words, this is hardly a supportive reference for the researchers’ assertion.
According to a&r estimates, the global market for herbal remedies across all segments (excluding soy, algae and fiber) currently brings in about $83 billion. Depending on the segment, growth is steady, ranging between 3% and 12%. Herbal dietary supplements ($11 billion) and herbal functional foods ($14 billion) make up over a third of the market. The global herbal pharmaceutical in¬dustry (including drugs from herbal precursors and registered herbal medicine) contributes $44 billion. Her¬bal beauty products make up the remaining $14 billion of the market.
In the global cosmetics market, herbal ingredients are estimated to have a 6% share of the market, and are exhibiting the strongest growth, between 8% and 12 %.
In 2006, the top three herbs featured globally in medicines, supplements and functional foods were ginseng, ginkgo and noni. Table 1 shows the sales for these and other popular herbs worldwide.
Among preferred botanicals used in cosmeceuticals are grape seed, bilberry, acerola, baobab, turmeric, ginkgo biloba, white and green tea, red clover, soy, tomato, comfrey, papaya, rosemary, wheat, evening primrose oil, sweet potatoes, carrots, olives, flax, aloe vera, coffee plant, centella asiatica, avocado and passion fruit.
When the international harmonization of herbal regulations is more settled, and definitions of herbal supplements, herbal drugs and herbal food ingredients are clear, another growth phase of the complete category will take place. Regardless of what happens, however, new products and concepts based on solid science will be the winning strategy for international success going forward.
About the author: Dr. Joerg Gruenwald is president of analyze & realize ag, Berlin, Germany, which is a specialized business consulting company and CRO (contract research organization) in the fields of nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, herbals and functional food. He is also the author of the PDR for Herbal Medicines. He can be reached at analyze & realize ag, 49-30-40008100; E-mail: email@example.com; Website: http://www.analyze-realize.com.
So, let’s think realistic and optimistic. Skeptic feeling with the media blow up information about phytofarmaca market prospect in Indonesia, is it just new potency or just another marketing trick ? Lets talk ‘bout business as usual, find the market first, and push them to feel that they need our product ( Hahaha…Evil is’nt it ?)
by : Maximillian