Is an ounce of prevention worth more than a pound of OTC treatment for digestive ailments?

One area that shows much higher rates of growth than monograph OTC digestive products are brands that offer claims of improving digestive health and immunity. Probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes all offer prevention of digestive ailments, including constipation, and improve regularity. Many brands in these market segments are able to achieve high double-digit gains as they are used on a daily basis, and consumers, therefore, make frequent repeat purchases. Kline’s upcoming Digestive Health, Immunity, and Probiotics: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities study will contain complete analyses of this market and sales, growth, and market shares of the leading brands and companies.

Findings from our upcoming Nonprescription Drugs USA study estimate sales of monograph digestive OTC products at approximately $3.0 billion at the factory level, with only antidiarrheal and antinausea medications posting gains. During 2016, Imodium AD (Johnson & Johnson) antidiarrheal preparations post strong gains as the brand reaps the benefits of steady retail distribution after having been affected by the company’s multi-year plant shutdowns. The launch of new Imodium AD Softgels also help drive gains for this brand in 2016.

Manufacturers’ Sales of Digestive Products Class by Product Category, 2016

SOURCE: Kline’s Nonprescription Drugs USA 2016 study.

Two of the largest categories—antacid and antigas products and laxatives—experience sales declines which are too large to be offset by growth of the much smaller antidiarrheal and antinausea preparations categories. In the antacids and antigas category, all large PPI brands, experience declines with the exception of a small gain posted by Pfizer’s Nexium 24HR. Private-label competition, coupled with the slow onset of relief and high price points associated with these brands, cause the PPI segment of the antacids market to struggle in 2016. In the laxatives category, several major brands experience sales declines in 2016, including Metamucil (Procter & Gamble), FiberChoice (Prestige Brands), DulcoLax (Sanofi), Phillips’ Liquigels and Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia (Bayer Group), and Kaopectate (Sanofi), causing the overall category to decline. Increased use of probiotics seems to be having an impact on sales of OTC laxatives.

Join us for Kline’s free webinar on Key Issues Trending in the OTC Market on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at 10:30 ET for an in-depth look at the OTC digestive products class and related markets, including probiotics, digestive health, and Rx-to-OTC switches.