Estimating the size of the market in urinary incontinence (UI) (at all levels of severity) is quite a challenge. Part of the problem is that most surveys that attempt to gauge the scope of the problem find over 50% of the people who suffer from UI do not even report it to their physicians under the misconceptions that UI is a natural process of growing older or just on the basis of their personal embarrassment.
Some estimates of the global scope of the problem run as high as 200 million people (at all levels of severity). However, the 200 million figure may even be quite small, as if one estimates the size of the problem just extrapolating worldwide from more credible US tabulations alone (estimates that range between 17 and 52 million people), the worldwide figure would be upwards of 340 to 500 million, or more.
Additionally, there may be specific factors that may vary the rates among different populations, such as, the differences in the many exacerbating conditions that affect a particular population group (i.e.; the lower birth rates and less obesity, perhaps offset somewhat by the higher smoking rates of the Chinese, etc.). Suffice it to say, the estimate of the numbers of sufferers worldwide, and in particular, within the targeted markets of PMD (primarily, although not exclusively, tabulated on the basis of the Company’s patent coverage) is a moving target. The chart below estimates the total population within the Company’s patent-covered markets: