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As of 2014 there were over 319 million people living in the United States, according to the Census Bureau and of those, it is estimated that at least 59 million use complementary (alternative) medicine per a report issued in 2012. However, of that figure only 1.6 million were children under the age of 18. With roughly 76% of the population being over the age of 18, that figure equates to roughly ¼ of the population that believes in and uses alternative medicine. That means big business and with an ever-growing population, that big business is getting bigger by the day.
Medical Industry Hits $3 Trillion – Alternative Medicine Estimated at $30 Billion
With the cost of healthcare still out of control, even after the ‘Affordable Care Act,’ an increasing number of people are turning to alternative medicine. Within the past few years, complimentary medicine was valued at about $30 million per year and that figure is expended to rise exponentially as the cost of healthcare and healthcare insurance is expected to rise as well. That $30 billion industry is nothing to scoff at and according to some market analysts, that figure is extremely low since there is no way to factor in the use of common everyday grocery staples that are used as ‘medicine.’
Such things as ginger and garlic are multi-million dollar industries and they are not factored into that equation as there is no way to determine what is being used as kitchen staples and what is being used in alternative treatments. Ginger is one of the most common natural treatments for nausea with garlic being espoused by those who feel it is a natural antibiotic and extremely good for the blood and circulatory system. It might even be safe to say that alternative medicine is even triple the amount being estimated because medical marijuana is not factored into that figure either.
What This Means to Entrepreneurs
Since alternative medicine is already big business and growing by the day, it can be stated empirically that entrepreneurs with a focus on complementary treatments would be wise to break into the business at this time. Consider medical marijuana for just a minute. As of June of this year (2016) there are 25 states and the District of Columbia that have legal medical marijuana. Some of those states have even legalized cannabis for recreational use. With 8 states on the ballot for November, some trying to legalize it altogether and others in an initial attempt to legalize its use as an alternative medicine, the country is looking at the possibility of over 30 states allowing its use in some form. From a commercial standpoint, cannabusiness is set to explode and getting into the industry now would be a gold mine for anyone with money to invest.
From acupuncture to cannabis, alternative medicine is a rapidly growing industry and one that is forecast to continue growing over the long term. If you have the money to invest in a business that is quite likely to succeed, complementary medicine is something to be considered. The return on your investment stands to be sizeable but only if you get in on the ground floor. Grow with the industry and you’ll have it made.