Big Pharma Looks To Cash In On Sarcopenia
I wrote an extensive article on sarcopenia (age related loss of muscle masss) in 2007 HERE. As expected, this has become a big area of research and interest. An article just published in the NY Times business section entitled “Doctors Seek Way to Treat Muscle Loss” covers the commercial interests in this condition. Various comments I don’t agree with, but it’s clear, as I predicted, this would be an area of focus once it was fully appreciated how much $$$ it costs the health care system and how much $$$ can be made from a magic pill to treat it.
Doctors Seek Way to Treat Muscle Loss
By ANDREW POLLACK
Published: August 30, 2010. NY Times
Bears emerge from months of hibernation with their muscles largely intact. Not so for people, who, if bedridden that long, would lose so much muscle they would have trouble standing.
Why muscles wither with age is captivating a growing number of scientists, drug and food companies, let alone aging baby boomers who, despite having spent years sweating in the gym, are confronting the body’s natural loss of muscle tone over time.
Comparisons between age groups underline the muscle disparity: An 80-year-old might have 30 percent less muscle mass than a 20-year-old. And strength declines even more than mass. Weight-lifting records for 60-year-old men are 30 percent lower than for 30-year-olds; for women the drop-off is 50 percent.
With interest high among the aging, the market potential for maintaining and rebuilding muscle mass seems boundless. Drug companies already are trying to develop drugs that can build muscles or forestall their weakening without the notoriety of anabolic steroids. Food giants like Nestlé and Danone are exploring nutritional products with the same objective.
In addition, geriatric specialists, in particular, are now trying to establish the age-related loss of muscles as a medical condition under the name sarcopenia, from the Greek for loss of flesh. Simply put, sarcopenia is to muscle what osteoporosis is to bone.
“In the future, sarcopenia will be known as much as osteoporosis is now,” said Dr. Bruno Vellas, president of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics.
NY Times article Cont: HERE