22nd Century Boy
A friend of mine recently became a father, and amid the celebrations it occurred to me that his new born son may well see the dawn of the 22nd century. Life expectancy in the UK continues to rise. Ever more sophisticated treatments to alleviate heart problems, lower cholesterol and stabilise blood pressure are major contributory factors. Thanks to effective immunisation our children suffer fewer infections during childhood, and better nutrition is helping them grow taller and stronger.
Over 600,000 people are employed in the pharmaceutical sector in Europe alone, and they’ve produced over 90% of the world’s new vaccines and medicines over the past quarter of a century.
Important links between academic research and the private sector are in evidence in the collaboration between GlaxoSmithKline and Yale University. Their joint initiative is focussed on the design of new medicines that will degrade disease-causing proteins. The intention is to take research from the academic lab to the industrial pharmaceutical pipeline as safely, efficiently and swiftly as possible. There’s cause for optimism that the benefits will be available to less privileged customers whose need is most acute.
Although, it currently accounts for only 1.5% of the global pharmaceutical market, demand in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is growing rapidly. Since 2005, healthcare spending in the region has risen by approximately 15% per annum. According to Business Monitor International (BMI), the market will be worth $ 23.7 billion by 2014. The region’s healthcare systems don’t yet have a reliable mechanism for universally accessible healthcare, but the good news is that many suppliers are offering suitable ad-hoc care, focusing on the shipment of smaller, targeted orders to give customers what they need, when they need it. Better, faster critical patient care meets economic needs and more to the point, saves lives.
The potential pitfalls for the sector and for the wider economy are familiar. Advanced healthcare bringing advanced longevity is set to put a strain on unprepared pensions systems. As Europe’s population “ages”, giving the continent a major demographic issue, the question of how to accommodate a large group of people no longer in employment looms large for our political leaders.
Cultural pitfalls are more immediate, but the good news is that they can be avoided without the intervention of politicians. They simply require partnership with trusted professionals who’ll invest their time and expertise, becoming thoroughly familiar with the language of the industry. These are the partnerships that open doors and keep them open. Having invested time and money perfecting your product and identifying a suitable new market, have you taken that crucial final step to make sure your message is conveyed as effectively as possible? When it comes to cultural credibility there are reliable translation partners who can ensure you’re always speaking to your target audience in a language they’ll understand.
At the dawn of the twentieth century, serious consideration was given to closing the UK patent office. It was widely believed that everything worth inventing had been invented. Anyone who has ever watched a television programme, made an aeroplane journey or marvelled at our ability to send manned flights to the Moon will be relieved that we didn’t draw a line under human ingenuity while Queen Victoria was still on the British throne. Nine decades from now, my friend’s new born son will see a world unrecognizable from our own. Technological advances will no doubt astonish him as they continue to astonish us, and medical advances will maintain his health and well being in ways we can’t yet anticipate. When babies born in 2012 reach out to the world, we don’t yet know which languages they’ll speak or which media they’ll use.
Have a good life, young man. And give my regards to the 22nd century.
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