The population is aging, which I witnessed firsthand yesterday when I took my mother for her first of two cataract surgeries. While young people are sometimes afflicted with these problems, cataract trouble is generally something for the 60-plus crowd.
According to the Administration on Aging, there were 57 million Americans who were 60 or older in 2010; by 2050, it expects that number to jump to 112 million. More importantly, those over 60 will represent 26% of the overall population, up from 18% in 2010. The importance of eye care in this country is only going to increase.
My mom has to take three different types of eye drops over the next month — two manufactured by Bausch + Lomb, and a third by Allergan (AGN). Bausch + Lomb was acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) in August for $8.7 billion, virtually doubling the company’s annual revenues overnight. Valeant and Allergan also participate in the dermatology industry, which is another fast-growing part of the health care sector.
Both are good stocks entirely separate from action in the Middle East. Of the two, however, I’d be inclined to buy Allergan over Valeant, but that’s only because of its more conservative balance sheet.