U.S. OTC Market

Strong Gains for Select Brands and Companies Among U.S. OTC Market Softness in 2016

The U.S. OTC market posted 2.2% growth overall from 2015 to 2016, according to Kline’s venerable Nonprescription Drugs USA annual market assessment study. However, topical analgesics, nasal allergy medications, herbal products, and contraceptive products posted much higher rates of dollar sales growth. The calendar year of 2016 was marked as being a weak cold and flu season, which put a damper on sales of many OTC upper respiratory brands and market segments. However, in contrast, nasal allergy sprays grew by double digits, driven by growth of newer Rx-to-OTC switch brands, Flonase Allergy Relief (GlaxoSmithKline), and the addition of Rhinocort Allergy Spray by Johnson & Johnson to the market. This rapid uptake of nasal allergy sprays resulted in a small decline in sales of oral allergy medications. Continue reading

Photo credit: Natural Products Expo

New Natural OTCs Displayed at Natural Products Expo

This year’s Natural Products Expo West was a huge event with over 80,000 attendees walking multiple floors of the Anaheim Convention Center. Much of the displays focused on millennials with products that appeal to their desire for sustainability and natural ingredients. Farm-to-tablet sourcing was a major theme echoed by several nutritional supplement exhibitors. Mega Foods’ Blood Builder uses beets as its main ingredient and claims to help cleanse the blood. The company actively promotes that the beets used to make Blood Builder are all grown from sustainable farms in the United States.Continue reading

Rx-to-OTC Switches

The Three Most Important Considerations for Rx-to-OTC Switches: Safety, Safety, and Safety

When considering a potential switch, the FDA is tasked with weighing the benefits of enhanced access against the incremental risks greater access will pose. In doing so, the FDA will generally consider the efficacy and safety profile of a drug based upon the studies conducted to gain Rx approval, as well as the clinical knowledge gained from first-hand experience of the product usage on the Rx marketplace. In addition, the FDA requires additional studies with consumers demonstrating that they can use the product safely in an OTC setting without third-party intervention.Continue reading

“Best Practice Guidelines for Probiotics”

New Scientific Guidelines for Probiotics Emerge

Transparency, ingredients, and clear labeling are important to consumers of nutritional supplements and probiotics. These are also substantial to reputable manufacturers in these markets looking to educate consumers on product benefits and to distance their brands from products on the market with less science supporting their claims and benefits.

In January 2017, the Council for Responsible Nutrition and the International Probiotics Association collaboratively published “Best Practice Guidelines for Probiotics” as a proactive set of voluntary, scientifically-based guidelines to encourage responsible production and marketing of dietary supplements and functional foods that contain probiotics. Continue reading

Pain and Self-care Devices

Discover the Impact of Devices on Traditional OTCs

There has been a fair amount of research on the therapeutic effects of light technologies for a broad range of conditions, such as allergies, wound healing, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, and even to help minimize the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer patients. Polarized medical light has been found in studies to be particularly effective for pain management, wound healing, and other conditions because of its ability to penetrate deep into the body and stimulate healing at the cellular level. As such technologies are studied and more devices are brought to market, these products could have an impact on traditional OTC drugs. Kline’s upcoming Self-care Devices: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities study will examine the size, growth, and impact such devices have and are expected to have in the future on traditional OTCs across various categories, including acne, allergy, anti-itch, cold sores, hair regrowth, pain, and sleep aids, among others.Continue reading

Natural OTCs

What’s the Impact of Natural OTCs on the Traditional OTC Market?

Laura Mahecha, our healthcare industry manager, recently attended CHPA’s President’s Forum in Malvern, PA, to speak about the dynamic adjacent OTC categories that make a mark on traditional OTCs. One of these categories is natural OTCs, which refers to non-drug, non-monograph, plant- or supplement-based, or homeopathic products that often make claims of support, prevention, maintenance, and/or treatment of minor conditions or ailments. Such products are increasingly popular among consumers and have posted healthy growth recently.

In fact, sales of natural OTCs are up 11.4% compared with 4.2% growth for traditional OTCs over the same timeframe, according to the last published editions of Kline’s Nonprescription Drugs USA and Natural OTCs: Impact of Non-drug Products on the U.S. OTC Market. Natural products offering enhanced immunity for cough/cold and digestive immunity account for more than two-thirds of the natural OTC market, but products touting improved brain health/memory are growing at the fastest pace among natural OTC brands.Continue reading

Acne Remedies

New Acne Elimination Switches and Devices Heat Up the OTC Market

The U.S. OTC market has enjoyed solid momentum in recent years, increasing far beyond the typical 2% to 3% annual growth it used to experience. Strong advertising and promotional investments, several new products, and Rx-to-OTC switch brands, as well as the steady distribution of major brands that had been off the market for several years, have helped propel the market beyond regular growth.

Lately, we’ve seen several alternative sources of competition for traditional OTCs that are emerging. Self-care devices, which have been around for many years in the beauty realm, are now entering OTC categories. TENS technology is being used in the topical analgesics market, while low light technology is seen in new devices that treat hair loss, cold sores, and even allergies. Bayer, which markets Aleve Direct Therapy TENS device for lower back pain, and Sanofi, with its Icy Hot TENS device, are among the new market entrants in this space.Continue reading

TENS Devices

Does TENS Technology Impact the U.S. OTC Industry?

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) technology has existed for over 50 years, but such devices have only been in the consumer marketplace since 2006-2007. Today, over 500 manufacturers of TENS products are registered with the FDA, and this number continues to increase. Innovation, convenience, and the ease of use of TENS devices, coupled with consumers’ increasing demand for non-drug options to prevent and alleviate pain, have helped boost sales of such devices.

The introduction of Sanofi’s Icy Hot TENS device in November 2014 had a big impact on this market segment, resulting in a 15% sales increase. Backed by an intensive marketing campaign, wide retail distribution through drug store chains and mass retailers, and a moderate price point of about $40.00-$50.00, this game-changer device helped increase Sanofi’s sales by more than 20%, as well as taking the leading spot in the at-home TENS devices market in the United States.Continue reading

How Well Do You Understand the Natural Consumer?

How Well Do You Understand the Natural Consumer?

Consumers’ desire for natural products doesn’t pertain only to foods and beverages, but extends into many other areas, including personal care products and OTC medicines. Consumers are increasingly aware of ingredients and seek transparency in labeling for products that will be applied topically or ingested. Environmental concerns, green consciousness, and sustainability are important to consumers who are driving strong growth of natural products in both the personal care and natural OTC markets. The U.S. market for natural personal care products has grown over 7% recently while the U.S. market for natural OTC medicines has grown over 11%, fueled by growing consumer awareness and interest in using these products.

In a recent survey of American adult consumers conducted by Kline, 46% note they used natural OTCs both for prevention of illness and to treat themselves when they are sick. Over time, the use of natural OTCs has increased, with 50% of consumers indicating more usage now than one year ago, and nearly two-thirds noting they buy and use natural OTCs more now than they did five years ago.Continue reading

Beauty and Healthcare Devices

Consumers are Incorporating Self-care and Beauty Devices into their Daily Lives

As the beauty and nonprescription drug markets evolve, new and innovative devices offer competition to traditional and well-established brands. Historically, when consumers desired treatment for minor pain or allergies, conventional wisdom had them buying OTC medications to help their symptoms subside. While oral analgesics and oral and nasal allergy remedies continue to be large consumer markets, new device technologies offer consumers innovative ways to treat themselves using drug-free options. The growth rates for some of these new devices are a testament to the interest consumers have in using non-drug treatment options, coupled with a thirst for incorporating new technologies into their daily lives.Continue reading