A new report suggests celiac disease will be a very lucrative market in a few years. And once a pharmaceutical solution is in place, diagnoses of celiac in the US will skyrocket. I’m not sure whether to be happy or thoroughly annoyed??

Here’s the scoop from the Businesswire that reported the summary of a new report called Stakeholder Opinions Celiac Disease: Licensing Opportunities Exist in Untapped Market. It says right now, “Low disease awareness, poor diagnosis rates combined with lack of pharmaceutical industry involvement has kept celiac disease from the limelight.” The summary continues, “Datamonitor believes a drug for celiac disease is up to 5 years away and this untapped [condition] has the potential to become a lucrative market.”

According to the highlights of the report, “Datamonitor estimates that under optimal conditions drug sales could reach $8 billion by 2019 in the seven major markets.” But not only does this report point out the future of medication for celiac disease, but also the impact on diagnosis of celiac disease purely based on the fact that the medicine is available to treat the condition.

“Low disease awareness among primary care physicians is a major factor behind low diagnosis rates 5% in the US to 25% in the EU in celiac disease,” the report says. “Continued efforts to increase awareness, especially once a drug comes to market, will drive celiac disease diagnosis rates up to 50%-60% by 2019, which will expand the overall patient population.”

Believe me the prospect of a vaccine, medication or cure sounds fantastic! I would love to see what Emma thinks about “gluteny” food. Or even just take her to the local “greasy spoon” for a burger and fries. But another part of me is extremely irritated that, according to this report, it appears to take big Pharma’s celiac pill, to get doctors to diagnose more cases; a prediction of a 10-fold increase!

I don’t get it. I’ve never worked in the medical industry, the business side of medicine or pharmaceuticals. I don’t claim to be a know-it-all. But I am a principled person. And it seems to me that this should not be the thing that gets the majority of the medical community to test for celiac disease.

The statistics of ailing children and sickly adults should be enough for many in the medical community to take some action and raise awareness among doctors to get this disease diagnosed — now. Not ten years from now.  If we ramp up the diagnoses now, by the time the pill is ready, we’ll just welcome it, take it and dance in the streets holding a Miller in one hand and a good ol’ fashioned Chicago-style pizza in the other (or something like that).

One final note, I tried not to lump all doctors and nurses into my rant.  I know there are medical professionals who “have our backs” and look for celiac disease and test for it appropriately.  I appreciate that.

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