Market Segments – Medical
Opioid Induced Constipation (OIC) is the most common side effect of prolonged opioid use. Doctors prescribe opioid drugs for pain management in patients following surgery and they are extremely effective for pain management. However, OIC prolongs the length of patient hospital stays, increases patient discomfort, the aggregate cost of treatment and hospital waiting times.
The condition is so widespread that pharma giants AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo funded a constipation awareness advertisement during the 2016 Super Bowl in response to America’s growing opioid addiction crisis. Both companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase the rights to a ‘first-of-kind’ constipation drug for painkiller users that includes in its list of side effects ‘allergic reaction, hives, difficulty breathing, facial swelling, severe stomach pain, severe diarrhea, symptoms of narcotic medicine withdrawal, anxiety, feeling irritable, sweating, chills, nausea, vomiting and headache.’ NutriKane+ displays none of these side effects. It is perfectly safe without risk of overdose. We just need to tell people about it.
General constipation (chronic) affects a considerable proportion of the population. The incidence of constipation increases with age as both gut and bowel health begin to deteriorate. Recent studies have shown that 16% of Americans and a third of those over the age of 60 suffer from chronic constipation. That is 50 million Americans. It has resulted in more than 700,000 hospital visits per year at a cost of USD $1.7 billion (2011). This cost has doubled since 1997. The economic cost of chronic constipation worldwide is significant. Billions of dollars spent annually on treatment for a highly treatable ‘lifestyle’ condition.
MediKane’s own clinical trials show that the rate of constipation for the elderly living in care is between 50% and 75%, caused by deteriorating gut and bowel health.
Three key areas of use for NutriKane+ are being actively pursued:
- Pre-operative patients – intestinal and bowel health (as currently used in an Illinois hospital group)
- Post-operative patients – faster resumption of normal intestinal and bowel function
- On-going care for rehabilitation patients and aged care residents – intestinal and bowel health
While the problem is worldwide, the focus for MediKane has been in Australia and in the USA, where private hospitals and facilities have an incentive to optimise cost management by improving the availability of beds. This will remain as a focus during 2021.
NutriKane+ is a commercial Business to Business (B2B) product. Target markets are to sell directly to hospitals and care facilities. Hospitals in the USA have completed clinical trials of NutriKane+. The product is set to launch shortly in this market. MediKane’s clinical partner has prepared a NutriKane presentation for wide dissemination (COVID-19 has slowed that dissemination – it will occur later in 2020).
The accessible market for NutriKane+ is defined as people in hospitals or aged care facilities with constipation, using oral drugs, looking for natural medications and who can access the product (i.e. part of a good distribution network).
NutriKane G is a general constipation product that has been developed and is ready to launch once critical mass has been achieved with existing products. It is NutriKane+ modified to improve flavour and mouthfeel, so it can be sold as a retail product.
NutriKane Genesis is a product for the USA market. Genesis will be marketed to women as an immune system support, weight control/inflammation, brain-gut product. This positioning is based on knowledge of US consumer habits. This need has become more apparent by current developments in the USA during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to, and post the COVID situation the scale of the USA market and its consumption of wellness products position it as one of the largest and most accessible markets for MediKane products.
We have a senior executive in the US researching the market and developing relationships and distribution channels.