Price of sleep

Janet Babin May 18, 2007
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Price of sleep

Janet Babin May 18, 2007
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TEXT OF STORYLISA NAPOLI: We spend a lot of time here on the morning shift at Marketplace talking about what we do to in order to get some sleep. A new report says drug companies sold more than $6 billion worth of sleep aids last year, and that figure is growing. From the Marketplace Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio, Janet Babin reports.


JANET BABIN: The report from Datamonitor studied seven major markets, including the U.S., France, Germany and Japan. It predicts that sleep aids sales will reach nearly $8 billion by 2016.

Dr. Rafael Pelayo says the number could go even higher. He’s with the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and also consults for drug companies.

RAFAEL PELAYO: Insomnia is not gonna go away because the population is aging. As people get older, they have more insomnia and there’s greater demand on our time. There’s more 24/7 society.

Pelayo says a lot of people don’t even see a doctor for insomnia because they don’t want to get addicted to a pill. And he says there are things people can do to enhance sleep without medication.

But a new class of sleep drugs holds great potential because they’re less addictive. Sanofi-Aventis, the current sleep drug leader, has two of these drugs that are close to hitting the market.

I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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