The 2010 World Cup for Soccer runs from June 11 through July 11, 2010 and almost all of the 32 teams that are participating have a significant life sciences presence in their country. People all over the world will be glued to their TV sets, even counties that did not make it to the finals will be watching.
The big drug producing nations are well represented in the World Cup:
- England (GlaxoSmithKline), Germany (Bayer), Switzerland (Roche), France (Sanofi), Spain (Almirall) and Italy (Menarini) from Europe, while the US A has the likes of Pfizer and Japan has Takeda.
TV viewership has been strong, with examples like the USA versus England game, where about twenty million people in England were watching and over fifteen million in the United States. In France about fifteen million watched their game against Uruguay, but Germany leads the rest for viewership with nearly thirty million watching their game against Australia.
So the impact could be negative or positive:
Clinical trials could be negatively impacted if there is a drop off in enrollment for those that would rather watch the game than participate, or may drop out if the game conflicts with a visit. Even worse the results could be skewed if there is a drug interaction with over-consumption of alcohol, often associated with soccer fans. This type of adverse event is not to be confused with a bad result when your team loses a crucial game to a lesser opponent.
It would not surprise me if the FDA used the World Cup as an excuse for delays in new drug approval because of lost time due to watching games as they take every opportunity, including the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico despite the fact it probably falls under the jurisdiction of the EPA or FEMA. It is more likely to be an impact with EMEA, with their passion for game being more prevalent.
Manufacturing and distribution could be disrupted worldwide since many of the big drug manufactures have a global presence in almost every country in the World Cup with the possible exception of North Korea. We are not sure of the impact there although it may put a crimp in their biological weapons program, but we don’t really know if they have such a thing.
On the positive side, hangover medicine might be up, like pain killers and stomach medicine, and perhaps even stress medications and depression treatments, if your team is not doing so well. The vuvuzelas (stadium horns), or rather the high decibel noise they make, may be an added bonus for the headache treatment companies, not to mention the opportunity for medical device manufacturers of hearing aids.
So you decide – is the World Cup a benefit or detriment to the life sciences industry?
Tags: General Interest