Time to talk some healthcare.
The American Society of Hematology begins holding its 59th annual meeting this weekend in Atlanta, where more than 25,000 attendees are expected to converge to discuss the latest advances in blood disease treatment.
"The ASH Annual Meeting has always been the premier event for serving a global community of hematologists and health professionals," said Dr. Kenneth C. Anderson, ASH president. "With precision medicine being a major theme this year, we are excited to highlight the cross-cutting areas of genomics and immunology and the promise they offer to transform the way we care for our patients."
Hematology is the study of blood and abnormalities of the cells and proteins that comprise blood. The global market for these diseases is expected to grow from nearly $86.5 billion in 2015 to $124.3 billion in 2020, according to BCC Research.
Hematological cancers represent the fastest-growing segment of the disease. The market for those treatments is expected to grow from $24 billion in 2015 to $38.2 billion in 2020.
To be sure, the drug companies clearly have noticed the trend.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved 11 different treatments for hematological disorders this year, according to CenterWatch, and eight of those treatments address cancers of the blood.
The FDA approved 11 total hematological treatments in 2016 and 2015 combined.
Bayer (BAYRY) - Get Report , Pfizer (PFE) - Get Report , Celgene (CELG) - Get Report , Novartis (NVS) - Get Report , Novo Nordisk (NVS) - Get Report and Jazz Pharma (JAZZ) - Get Report all received approval for their drugs this year.
"Big pharma companies have a significant presence at the conference and that provides an opportunity for interaction that someone might not otherwise have," Dr. Liz Klings, director of the Center of Excellence for Sickle Cell Disease at Boston Medical Center, told TheStreet.
Klings has been attending the conference annually since 2006 and plans to go again this weekend.
She said that while physicians are getting better at understanding the underlying causes of diseases, globally there is likely an under-diagnosis for blood-related diseases. She said she sees value in the abstracts presented at the conference, which she considers to be the "highest quality abstracts for cutting-edge research that is not yet published in research journals."
American culture has exported many good things worldwide, but according to a report by BCC Research, the U.S. is also exporting a lifestyle that has led to an increase in hematological disorders in developing countries.
The segment does face some hurdles as the annual cost of treating blood disorders is expected to fall. The patent expiration of numerous drugs should also slow market growth, according to BCC Research.
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