According to a recent study, insomnia costs the average US worker 11.3 days in productivity (about $2,280) every year, amounting to $63 billion annually. This impact is much greater than the researchers had expected.
"It's an underappreciated problem. Americans are not missing work because of insomnia. They are still going to their jobs, but accomplishing less because they're tired. In an information-based economy, it's difficult to find a condition that has a greater effect on productivity," says Ronald Kessler, professor of healthcare policy at Harvard Medical School, who led the study.
The sample of 7,428 employees was taken nationally. Among them, 23.2% were estimated to have insomnia. It was more common in workers under 65 years old, and more common in women than men.
The more that insomnia is recognized as a serious problem in labor productivity, the more U.S. employers will be obliged to address the issue.
For a look at companies that may stand to benefit, we’ve listed 4 biotech companies that are developing or have developed treatments for insomnia.
Do you think these companies will benefit from the growing recognition of insomnia as a serious productivity issue?
List sorted alphabetically.
1. Alexza Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALXA, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Focuses on the research, development, and commercialization of novel proprietary products for the acute treatment of central nervous system conditions. Market cap of $88.73M. The company's clinical-stage product candidates include AZ-007 (staccato zaleplon), which completed Phase I status for the treatment of insomnia.
2. Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. (NBIX, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Engages in the discovery, development, and commercialization of drugs for the treatment of neurological and endocrine-related diseases and disorders in the United States. Market cap of $313.21M. The company develops drugs for insomnia and other neurological disorders
3. Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (QCOR, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Provides prescription drugs for central nervous system and inflammatory disorders. Market cap of $2.05B. The company markets Doral (quazepam), which is indicated for the treatment of insomnia characterized by difficulty in falling asleep, frequent nocturnal awakenings, and/or early morning awakenings.
4. SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SCLN, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Engages in the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics for the treatment of oncology, infectious diseases, cardiovascular, urological, respiratory, and central nervous system disorders in the People's Republic of China and internationally. Market cap of $230.95M. Its products include Silenor for the treatment of insomnia characterized by difficulty with sleep maintenance.
(By Alexander Crawford)
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