The value of the global anti-aging market is expected to reach $331 billion by 2021 and, according to Reuters, the industry saw a two percent year-over-year growth in the number of cosmetic procedures performed in the United States in 2017. Needless to say, the aesthetic marketplace is booming. It is also known that the industry has never been more competitive. Fueled by the whiplash effect of social trends and celebrity clout, what was in yesterday is out today, faster than professionals can invest in the latest technology.
Acting behind-the-scenes, but very much at the industry front lines, is the compounding pharmacy. Adaptable to change and masters of meeting the demand for bespoke treatment options, compounding pharmacies produce custom prescriptions and medications on-demand. They are nimble businesses, and that’s what gives them a unique perspective in the aesthetic and cosmetic space, especially in the fastest growing segments: wellness and integrative medicine.
FOLLOW THE TREND LINES
Integrative wellness is here to stay. Years ago, the idea of wellness was considered fringe or fluff, housed in the world of spas or holistic centers. Very quickly, that outlook has changed.
Recent reports indicate that the global market for health and wellness in 2016 was worth $686 billion and projected to reach $815 billion by 2021. The Global Wellness Institute, an independent research firm, has reported that in 2015, the United States had over 24,421 locations nationwide, generating $18.7 billion in revenue. Today, the global spa industry is worth upwards of $77.6 billion.
The trend lines are clear: consumers and patients are spending big on wellness and are looking for more than what traditional healthcare has offered in the past.
At the heart of this is a greater consumer and patient desire for choice-driven, preventative skin care solutions. With an aging population that is growing and greater demands on time and work output, there has been a surge in the desire for sustained performance, cognitive enhancement, and taking care of the complete self.
So, what does all of this mean in practice? Here are three areas of treatment that have ballooned in the compounding pharmacy industry in recent months.
NUTRITIONAL IV VITAMIN THERAPY
IV therapy has long been used for medical needs – from treating vitamin or immunodeficiency to treating patients suffering from gut disorders or those who have had gastric bypass surgery. The treatments are quick, go straight to the bloodstream, and can be transformative for a host of concerns and conditions. Now, there has been a spike in demand for IV therapy in a cosmetic and aesthetic context – to promote detoxification and help give skin an effortless glow. Among the most popular IV blends are those for immunity and energy or custom blends for hair and skin that include glutathione, CoQ10, and biotin.
With the ongoing, nationwide shortage of IV bags, IV pushes have become a popular option for clinics and centers offering IV therapy to clients, without compromising on the service. The biggest problem with this wellness trend is the risk associated with not investing in proper staff training and thorough patient blood work to prevent adverse reactions.
WEIGHT MANAGEMENT AIDS
This year, ASAPS revealed that nonsurgical body contouring became the fastest growing segment in the industry. With that, the industry has seen a surge in the popularity of weight management aids to complement results. Most popular have been lipotropic deoxycholic acid injections and doses of fat-blasting and metabolism-boosting methionine, inositol, and choline (MIC). Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a female hormone used for both men and women to aid weight management and as a testosterone antagonist, has also grown as a way to supercharge weight loss.
BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY (BHRT)
Less popular in aesthetics, but growing in scope, is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Most well-known in the field of endocrinology, and among women facing perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms, many patients are starting to see the benefits of hormonal balance at every phase of life for better energy, sexual health, and general well-being. Most attractive have been bioidentical, plant-derived hormones that better mimic the body’s natural production.
THE KEY TO STAYING AHEAD
What it meant to look good and age well a few years ago is now too narrow. Consumers are demanding all-encompassing, internal balance. Similarly, what used to be enough in the cosmetic and aesthetic space is now a basic treatment offering. Traditional aesthetic centers are competing with a new generation of wellness centers by offering services like body contouring and fillers, as well as holistic, full-body wellness treatments that go beyond the skin’s surface to promote change from the inside out. They have become the one-stop destinations for care. To stay ahead, practices need to look long and hard at how they can offer integrative health solutions to meet this patient demand, be that with BHRT, nutritional IV therapy, or innovative, weight management aids. The key to a successful aesthetic future is dependent on it.
Samantha Blakeney is the business development director at VLS Pharmacy and New Drug Loft, a compounding pharmacy network based in New York City, New York. It is licensed in over 30 states nationwide. The network has a state-of-the-art sterile compounding facility that is USP compliant. They are accredited by PCAB/ ACHC, are members of PCCA and IACP, and are part of the elite UCAP/UCM accreditation program. The full scope of their compounding services is available on their website where one can also learn more about their nutritional intravenous capabilities, weight loss treatments , and and plant-derived bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
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