5 Health Care Predictions for 2018

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There's one thing about health care trends in 2018 that's more fact than prediction.

As an industry, health care is exploding. An aging baby boomer population ensures that. The industry will continue to grow by leaps and bounds. With that in mind, Forbes magazine recently published a list of five important health care predictions for 2018. The list is more for investors and what these predictions mean for investors. But, they can also pertain to all involved with health care, from physicians, nurses and patients, to students in one of Concorde's health care programs.

Health care trends are happening. So, here is a closer look at what Forbes had to say are the 5 health care trends for 2018.

Specialty diseases on the rise

Chronic diseases and syndromes that affect fewer than 200,000 people are stepping into the spotlight in 2018 health care trends. This primarily is due to the fact that they are lucrative. Less competition, fewer existing treatments, and they require ongoing treatment. While this is good news for a lot of sufferers who have not had options, it is likely the treatments will be expensive as they have no competition.

More mergers and acquisition activity

Over the next 10 years, $17 billion worth of patents for the big, blockbuster drugs expire. Big companies need to find a way to make up their losses. For this reason, we're likely to see big companies like Pfizer purchase smaller pharmaceutical companies that already have profitable drugs in the pipeline. The big companies can help accelerate the growth of these smaller players through marketing, rebranding, production and distribution efficiencies, and label expansions.

Health care trends toward technical breakthroughs

Thanks to some mind-blowing developments in molecular engineering and gene editing, there's a whole new world of pharmaceuticals ready to explode. Specifically, Chimeric Antigenic Receptor T-cell (CAR-T) and CRISPR-CAS9 gene editing technologies used to fight cancers and other debilitating diseases. Blockchain technology entering health care is another space to watch for its unique ability to put patients in control of their data.

Increase in generics

As patents expire, there will be more generics than ever before. There is strong pressure from society and politicians to control the exorbitant cost of drugs. There also is strong pressure from pharmaceutical lobbyists wishing to protect their interests. In the coming years, we're likely to see the FDA create more favorable policies toward generics. This will mean more generics will get approved and prices will come down accordingly.

Growth in Asian markets

Asia is experiencing rapid growth in most areas. It will need similar pharmaceutical and medical device capabilities to those of the West in order to serve that market. China accounts for a quarter of the global health care market, and this number will only continue to rise. Health insurance, in particular, is a completely untapped and undeveloped market.

These are just a few of the health care trends we'll see as we head into 2018. One thing is certain - as the industry continues to grow, change will be the norm. These health care trends are just the tip of the iceberg in an industry where opportunities abound.

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