A Popular Economics View of the Future of the Longevity Industry

Rather than popular science, here we have a popular economics article on the present state and future of the longevity industry. It is a superficial survey of the field, but interesting for pulling together some of the available economic statistics and forecasts into one place.

Making human beings live longer in good mental, neurological and physical health would be one of the most important steps humanity has ever taken. Not only because of the suffering experienced by millions of people around the world, but also because of the massive impact it would have on society, the economy and the public policies of any state. Many countries are under the threat of unsustainable spending, due to the high cost of chronic and degenerative disease. In Spain, for example, health spending related to old age will grow by 18% over the coming decade, reaching over $100 billion annually.

We must not forget that the planet rests on a demographic time bomb. The population is aging at an unprecedented rate. It's estimated that, by 2030, there will be 1.4 billion people over the age of 60 worldwide. In 2050, this figure will top 2.1 billion, according to the World Health Organization.

Many have tried to calculate the value of the gigantic anti-aging industry. There are numerous projections, but they vary enormously, depending on the fields that are taken into account. These range from preventive medicine to the reprogramming of cells. Bankers estimate that the value of the global industry will amount to around $610 billion by 2025. Currently, the market is at around $110 billion, while the annual growth rate is at 28%. On the other hand, the projection by the Aging Analytics Agency is more ambitious and broad, even taking into account the financial services markets, such as pension plans and life insurance. It estimates that the longevity economy will reach $33 trillion by 2026.

In Europe and the United States, there are already investment funds focused exclusively on start-ups that are trying to tackle the devastating effects that the passage of time has on cells and molecules. Around $5.2 billion of funds were raised by companies at various stages of their development in the global longevity industry. A decade ago, this sector barely had half-a-billion in capital. Observers believe that investment in anti-aging research will continue to rise: "The market should be able to raise more than $15 billion by 2030 in innovative therapeutic areas such as cell programming, cell membrane restoration, and regenerative medicine."

Link: https://english.elpais.com/economy-and-business/2023-07-17/the-boom-of-the-anti-aging-market-how-to-get-people-to-live-to-be-120-and-in-good-health.html


"I am keenly interested (and have been unable to find) an economic study that evaluates the significant cost savings in healthcare resulting from extending health-span. Considering that approximately 85% of all diseases are age-related, interventions such as enhancing Klotho levels or removing inhibitory epigenetic marks (just two of the many examples) could postpone these diseases to a brief period at the end of a greatly extended lifespan. This suggests that once such anti-aging treatments are implemented, there could be substantial reductions in individual healthcare expenses. However, it's crucial to note that such advancements will also radically transform the healthcare sector, impacting everything from insurance and hospitals to clinicians, labs, and the biotech/pharmaceutical industry." The cost saving to Medicare alone could completely reverse the current direction of our accumiliating national debt. An economic study that resolves this new economic paradigm, where demand for healthcare / healthcare infrastructure is dramatically reduced, coupled with a corresponding reduction to the bottom lines of that entire industry. If anyone is familiar with such a study please let me know. Thanks Michael.

Posted by: Michael at July 24th, 2023 12:08 PM

@Michael. I expect you know this study already so it might not answer your question but I thought useful to send it anyway:
Goldman DP, Cutler D, Rowe JW, et al. Substantial health and economic returns from delayed aging may warrant a new focus for medical research. Health Affairs. 2013;32(10):1698-1705.

Posted by: albedo at July 30th, 2023 4:31 AM
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