APAC: Herbalife’s Asia-Pacific Health Priority Survey of 5,504 consumers aged 18-78 years across 11 APAC markets reveals that 77% became more health-conscious, owing to the pandemic. Some 72% are willing to increase their spending related to health & wellness, particularly in Vietnam (95%), the Philippines (90%), Indonesia (86%) and Taiwan (85%).

Respondents shared how they would like to use their increased expenditure to make healthier food choices (65%), purchase / consume dietary supplements (52%), go for regular health check-ups (48%), engage experts for advice (28%), and seek mental health consultation (25%). Improved overall health (51%), better sleep (46%) and enhanced immunity (46%) are the Top 3 health goals, followed by improving eating habits (42%) and mental health (40%). 

Nicholas Hall Writes: I haven’t seen the Herbalife questionnaire submitted to more than 5,000 consumers in Asia, but at face value the results are both predictable and also provide a simple script for CHC growth in the region and globally. Consumers told Herbalife that they are more health conscious since the pandemic and willing to spend more on improving their health. The direction this would take favours self-care very much, whether it be healthy eating or purchasing dietary supplements, with the role of HCPs relatively unimportant. Improving sleep and greater immunity were the most desired outcomes.

As I’ve written before, sleep comes up time and time again, and we have some impressive growth brands in the world, such as P&G’s ZzzQuil, but we do not yet have the ideal product, even in the pharma market, in the sense of being effective but not addictive. The ideal sleep remedy sends you to sleep; keeps you asleep; overcomes nocturia, the biggest source of waking up in the night; and ensures that when you do wake up you feel refreshed and can get on with your day. Whoever brings a brand like this to market will have a licence to print money.

Immunity is another matter and we have some evidence from the recent past that shows how this plays out. Consumers in the first year of the pandemic spent some of their disposable income on multivitamins and other general immunity products, but not on antiviral sprays such as ColdZyme and Vicks First Defence. As I’ve said repeatedly, if brands like these cannot succeed during a pandemic when can they? And immune supplements like Sambucol, well known to be a favourite brand of mine, had stunning growth at the beginning of Covid-19, but then evened out as the pandemic ran its course. In the rush to bank innovation mega-profits, the company that cracks the code on immunity in terms of product, benefits and communications will stand just behind the sleep-aid entrepreneur in the queue.

Nicholas will explore the challenges and opportunities mental health and wellness pose for the CHC industry, as well as other crucial topics in his upcoming signature New Paradigms report. To explore full coverage, pre-order your copy at a discounted rate, or to find out more about optional add-on presentations and quarterly updates, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com

P&G says B aware of nerve health

P&G, the maker of neuropathic pain reliever Neurobion, commemorated Nerve Health Awareness Week 2023 for the third consecutive year by announcing its Ab Feel Karega India campaign. The aim is to raise awareness and maximise conversations around nerve health, particularly in rural and semi-urban areas. To help emphasise the important role of vitamins B1, B6 & B12, on-ground activities will shed light on how to improve nerve health and the importance of early diagnosis, in collaboration with pharmacists, physicians, medical and healthcare organisations.

Inspired by symptoms such as numbness and tingling felt by those suffering from vitamin B deficiency, the campaign will be further leveraged through a TVC film accentuating how sufferers are unable to feel the same joy when going about routine activities, negatively impacting their quality of life and emotional wellbeing. The campaign also includes online and interactive offline activations.

Nicholas Hall Writes: It’s fascinating to see the attention being given to vitamin B complex as a pain reliever, mobility enhancer and calming agent. Brands like Neurobion from Procter & Gamble and Alinamin (spun off by Takeda and now owned by Blackstone) have forged a new sub-category in Asia that is pioneering market growth in North America with brands like Nervive (P&G).

Those of you who have heard me speak on the subject of innovation know that I’m dismissive of the quantity vs quality approach. But the good work of companies like P&G is creating profitable new segments in markets like sleep and nerve health. Long may this continue!

Celebrate the best marketing campaigns from the region during the presentation of our upcoming Asia-Pacific CHC Marketing Award, taking place at Nicholas Hall’s Asia-Pacific CHC Conference. For more information about entry criteria, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

FDA panel approves Opill switch

The FDA Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee and the Obstetrics, Reproductive & Urologic Drugs Advisory Committee last week voted unanimously that the benefits of making daily oral contraceptive Opill (norgestrel 0.075mg) available for OTC use outweigh the risks. Perrigo affiliate, French-based HRA Pharma, filed an application in July 2022 for OTC use of the progestin-only drug. While not binding, the panel’s vote will be considered by the FDA when making its final decision regarding the potential approval of Opill for OTC use, which is expected later this year.

If approved, Opill would be the first daily birth control pill available OTC in USA. Perrigo President & CEO Murray Kessler said during a Q2 2022 earnings call – at the time the switch application was filed – that he expected the FDA evaluation would take 10 months. Opill is “in the process of being filed in at least three more countries in Europe”, although “they’re not on as fast a track”, he said at the time.

Comment from Regional VP, North America, Liz Cummings: HRA’s application for the Rx-to-OTC switch of Opill featured a model showing that if 100,000 women were to continue to use existing birth control methods with high failure rates, there would be 37,624 unintended pregnancies. However, if all of them used OTC progestin-only pills with a failure rate of 7%, this would fall to 7,000. Citing this study while representing HRA, physician Professor Anna Glasier noted that OTC availability showed an 81% reduction of pregnancies in the rhetorical cohort of women and would serve an unmet need for many. She added: “Birth control is a great milestone in the history of medicine. It is extremely safe and HRA demonstrated that it does work … let’s make a little more history today and approve the pill as an OTC.”  

During the hearing, HRA presented evidence showing that Opill has a strong safety profile, supported by OC Rx availability for 63 years and consumers (including adolescents) were able to appropriately self-select and use it. Actual use by study participants was measured by self-recording adherence to daily use and time of ingestion, with results showing rates within the scope of normal Rx adherence. However, the FDA felt that HRA’s studies did not comply with its switch guidance and the agency’s analysis showed less confidence in the accuracy in self-selection and daily adherence. Deputy Director of the FDA’s Office of Nonprescription Drugs, Dr Karen Minerve Murry, noted that the FDA was presented with many challenges by the actual use studies submitted, but emphasised that it knows the importance of OTC access. The FDA’s disagreements with HRA study results means it may be some time before final approval, but given the public health benefit, we could have a positive result by end-2023.

Nicholas discusses some of the challenges and opportunities faced by the CHC industry in the aftermath of the pandemic in an exclusive preview clip ahead of the publication of his upcoming New Paradigms report. To explore full coverage, pre-order your copy at a discounted rate, or to find out more about optional add-on presentations and quarterly updates, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.


Bausch + Lomb revenues were C$931mn (US$684mn) in Q1 2023, reflecting a 5% increase; excluding the unfavourable impact of foreign exchange, revenues rose by around 8% on a constant currency basis. Vision Care advanced by 5% (+8% cc) to C$587mn (US$431mn), driven by both the consumer and contact lens portfolios. According to EVP & CFO Sam Eldessouky, Consumer grew by 8% (cc), with Lumify (brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic solution 0.025%), PreserVision and Biotrue multipurpose solution continuing to hold market-leading positions.

Lumify revenues grew by 23% globally to a record C$38mn (US$28mn) and in USA, the brand reached a market share of 50% in the redness reliever category. To leverage the brand platform, B+L is in the early stages of launching the Lumify Eye Illuminations beauty line. Artelac, a key brand in the dry eye franchise in Europe, grew by 29% (cc). Reported revenues from eye vitamins PreserVision and Ocuvite were flat but up low-single digits on a constant currency basis.

Nicholas Hall’s Postcard from New York: A sure sign that the pandemic is almost over is that I’ve started travelling again. Earlier this week I was in San Diego for a client’s global leadership forum, and now I’m in New York for executive meetings and hopefully to spend a few hours in the company of Picasso, Matisse and Monet at the Museum of Modern Art. There have to be some consolations for so many hours spent in aeroplanes, although it’s wonderful to be face to face with friends and clients again!

The Pick of the News section this week leads with a recent Switch success, Lumify, and the bold launch of OTC Cialis in UK, which we must look upon as a bellwether for the brand in USA, assuming the FDA ever gives its seal of approval. Switch was historically one of the main drivers of growth in consumer healthcare, and after several years of famine it’s good to see higher yields. But I’m choosing my words carefully here as, although the number of switches has started to increase, we have yet to see a mega-brand emerge. The last one of those was Flonase.

We are delighted to announce that the all-new website for CHC New Products Tracker is now live! Featuring almost 40,000 launches, all graded with star ratings, subscribers will not only benefit from a fresh look but greater accessibility across devices. To find out more, or to set up a demo, please contact david.redford@NicholasHall.com.

CHC the fastest-growing e-commerce segment

Following the publication of the highlights of our 33rd European CHC conference in the last issue, we are focusing here on one key theme, e-commerce: 

Panayotis Gezerlis, President & Founder, Convert Group

E-pharmacies globally and data collaboration with CHC manufacturers​

  • CHC e-commerce​ ​is the fastest-growing ​segment in e-commerce ​globally​ ​
  • In a 2022 study of 89 countries, there was an 8% rise in visits to e​-pharmacies; around 80 markets permit online sales of OTCs, while 49 markets allow online sales of Rx medicines
  • Europe is at the forefront of e-pharmacy penetration, with Sweden leading the way in the number of consumer visits to online pharmacies​ with an average of 24 visits per resident per year​
  • There is nonetheless limited knowledge about e​-pharmacies globally
  • Omni-channel retail is broken; industry (across all sectors) is not taking data-driven decisions based on actionable insights
  • Convert Group’s ​eRetail Audit Marketplace platform provides real-time data from e-pharmacies in a number of markets that allows companies the opportunity to instantly monitor their brand performance, market share, ​basket penetration, ​consumer purchasing behaviour, ​marketing effectiveness, ​popular search words and more, as well as that of competitors
  • Actionable insights allow companies to take commercial action
  • ​E-pharmacy has the potential to be the most democratic industry in terms of data, allowing companies to optimise performances; there must be trust between retailers and manufacturers, based on transparency and designed to drive ​mutual ​growth and meet consumer needs 
Panayotis Gezerlis, Convert Group

Panel Discussion

  • E-pharmacies pose challenges for industry, including regulatory concerns; information contained on pharmacy websites may require approval from advertising regulators, while cross-border sales create other issues and responsibilities
  • Successful companies are those that view online as part of their core business rather than a sideline; this is simply commerce rather than another channel and e-commerce should be embedded in business strategies
  • Combining pure digital and brick & click strategies — rather than treating the two separately — is key to success and growth; manage these consistently
  • In terms of capability, bring the outside talent in and plan how to expand internal capabilities; choose partners wisely and collaborate closely 
  • Meaningful and actionable data can allow companies to optimise marketing spend
  • Data costs will inevitably increase and will become an important part of manufacturer spending 
  • There are many opportunities and ways to engage consumers online, and it is possible to “read” the target without spending huge amounts

Nicholas Hall Writes: The London conference was outstanding and ended on a high with a group of extremely knowledgeable speakers addressing one of the most important topics in consumer health, the rise and rise of e-commerce. You can read above some of the key findings, most interestingly that consumer health is the fastest-growing e-commerce sector. Very importantly, last year e-commerce accounted for 17% of all consumer healthcare sales globally. In the next decade that share will increase to around 30%. But in this most instant of channels, reliable sales data has been far from instant. Fortunately, our good friends at Convert Group are working hard to remedy this.

One of the points I made in the Keynote Address was that we expect a considerable movement of consumer demand from national brands to branded generics and private labels. The evidence for that is proved in a number of the Q1 results. In the case of Sanofi, Reckitt, Nestlé Health Science and Unilever, there was good growth, but it was largely dependent on price increase or improved product mix. Volume growth was either negative or nominal. The one company that did achieve high volume growth was Sandoz, for which the majority of sales are from branded generics. I doubt very much that price increases can go much higher, so all the top players in our industry need to focus on the classic means of driving real growth: better products, new benefits, stronger claims, improved communications including digital, and more dedicated trade marketing. That is the way they can become a major contributor to the 7% industry growth we forecast in the next five years.

E-commerce was the focus of multiple presentations and a dedicated panel discussion during last week’s 33rd European CHC Conference. Contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com to discuss recording purchase options. 


GLOBAL: We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Nicholas Hall Group Awards, which were presented at our 33rd European CHC Conference:

Colin Borg Creative Awards

  • 1st Buscopan (Sanofi)
  • 2nd Gynoxin (Recordati)
  • 3rd Tadalafil Maxigra (Polpharma)

European New Product of the Year

  • 1st Dorminox (Polpharma)
  • 2nd Allevia (Sanofi)
  • 3rd Daktarin Powder Spray (J&J Consumer Health)
Sanofi’s US Allegra campaign, “Live Your Greatness”, recognised in Worldwide Marketing Awards

Worldwide Marketing Awards 

  • 1st Fisiocrem (Uriach) 
  • 2nd Allegra (Sanofi)
  • 3rd place presenter Eye Mo (Combiphar)

Special Achievement Award      

  • Yvan Vindevogel The founder of Damier Group Omega Pharma, Alpha Pharma (now Fagron), Vemedia Pharma (now Cooper Consumer Health) and Vision Healthcare is a well-known, much respected figure in the global CHC industry and a long-time friend of The Nicholas Hall Group of Companies. Currently, he is the Executive Chairman (ex-CEO) of Vision Consumer Health and Chairman of Cooper Consumer Health.

If you missed last week’s 33rd European CHC Conference, you can still purchase a recording of the event. Plus, we are delighted to announce that Nicholas will return to New Jersey to host our regional North American CHC Conference, taking place on 13-14 September! Contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com to register your interest and be the first to find out more, or to discuss recording purchase options.

Retail CHC growth set for mid-single digits in 2023

GLOBAL: The soon-to-be published market forecasts from Nicholas Hall’s Global CHC database DB6 indicate that the global retail CHC market is expected to perform well in 2023, advancing by 5.7%, softening slightly from the strong return in 2022 (+7.2%). Although likely to maintain good growth, we expect a slowdown in the comparatively high rates observed in categories such as cough, cold & allergy and analgesics, and expect others to maintain consistent performances or advance over 2022. Inflation remains a factor in many markets globally, impacting the nominal DB6 projections, and helping to keep the short-term outlook buoyant.

In the longer term, the market is forecast to grow by CAGR 27/22 of 5.2% and CAGR 32/27 of 5.7%, in part driven by Rx-to-OTC switch, most notably of erectile dysfunction and daily oral contraceptives. Projections for the broader CHC market, encompassing all channels and CBD is being finalised, but is expected to push the 2023 global projection to a higher level, and will continue to be spearheaded by the dynamic internet & mail-order channel. 

Nicholas Hall Writes: As you can imagine, I’m fully focused on this week’s London conference; and what a pleasure to be able to hold meetings face-to-face! It’s a year since we met in Athens, which felt like an enthusiastic group of friends and colleagues who had been let out of school after three years. One year on, my sense is that executives still do not travel as much as before and I know that the atmosphere will be very good in London. As well as excellent presentations, we’ve lined up amazing networking opportunities, and the delegate dinner will be held on a river boat, always a favourite destination for participants. 

In terms of content, there are too many highlights to list here, but I’m particularly looking forward to unveiling our new Strategic Narrative, showing the prevailing opportunities and relatively new threats to consumer health, which continues to hold up remarkably well. According to our lead story this week, 2023 is forecast to be well ahead of the pre-pandemic years, which is an outstanding achievement bearing in mind the many threats faced by our industry. Of course, store retail is only part of the picture, although by far the biggest. When we add in e-Commerce and CBD, and the less dynamic multi-level sector, our growth forecasts for the next 5 and 10 years will impress those within our industry and those looking in from the outside.

Hear from Frank Bacuet, Global Growth & Strategy Director at PricingOne, during our 33rd European CHC Conference, taking place in London next week! You can also expect to hear from experts from companies including J&J, Haleon and Perrigo. See the latest agenda here, or to register without delay, contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.


The year-end 2022 update from DB6 shows the global retail market advanced by 7.2% in the 12 months to end-December 2022. Globally, this represents yet another strong single-digit result, slightly ahead of the MAT Q3 2022 results (+7.0%). In another somewhat turbulent year, impacted by a surging cough & cold market, post-Covid recovery, global economic crises and continuing conflict in Europe, we look below in more detail at how the market has performed.

  • Cough, Cold & Allergy continues to be the key driver behind global growth; the second largest category returned sustained double-digit growth, advancing 18.2% in the current reporting period. Excluding allergy remedies, once again all subcategories observed double-digit increases, with standout performances in cough remedies (+26.3%) and systemic cold & flu and systemic decongestants, both growing at 21.6%.
  • Analgesics (+7.6%) was the second-fastest growing major category to year-end 2022, driven by a double-digit increase in systemics (+10.3%), which continues to benefit not only from recommendations for OTC products to treat fever and pain following Covid vaccinations, but the uptick in cold & flu incidence. Topical formats continued on a slowing trajectory (+1.9%), with 4 out of 5 leading markets in decline.
  • Gastrointestinals (+5.8%) was the third-fastest growing category, slowing marginally from MAT Q3 2022. Sustained robust performances from typically travel-associated subcategories including antinauseants (+13.4%) and antidiarrhoeals (+10.4%) spearhead the increase, while largest subcategories antacids and laxatives grew more modestly, progressing by 4.0% and 5.1% respectively.
  • Lifestyle CHC slowed vs MAT Q3 2022 (+3.7%). The second-largest subcategory, sedatives & sleep aids (+3.1%), generated somewhat muted growth following significant gains throughout the pandemic, offset to some extent by steady growth in the largest subcategory, eye care (+6.5%), owing to growing awareness of device and screen-related dry eye, successful switches and NPD. Ear care was the fastest-growing subcategory and the only one to advance by double-digits (+11.8%), although its modest 2.1% share of the category means that this has minimal impact on the topline.
  • Vitamins, Minerals & Supplements (+3.7%) continued to soften to end-2022, with several key subcategories slowing vs the previous reporting period. Immunity-related subcategories maintain positive growth but are abating: immune supplements (+6.3%) and vitamin C (+3.1%) are the best performing of these, while zinc flattens to 0.3%, albeit with a significantly higher value than pre-pandemic times. Elsewhere, ebbing growth in the largest subcategory, multivitamins (+2.5%), has muted overall category returns. Multi-functional ingredient magnesium was the strongest-performing subcategory to year-end 2022, advancing by 10.5%.
  • Dermatologicals (+3.2%) remains the weakest major category globally but continued its path of improvement in 2022. Antiseptics & disinfectants remains negative in growth terms (-7.6%) but the decline is weakening as post-Covid correction continues and absolute sales are significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels. Excluding this subcategory, dermatologicals increased by 4.8%, with notable performances in lip care (+10.5%) and lice treatments (+10.2%), both recovering from negative Covid impact.
(Store Retail) CountryYEAR END 2022 sales (US$bn)2022/21
GLOBAL CHC157.7+7.2
Source: Nicholas Hall’s global CHC database DB6

In terms of geographies:

  • Europe (+9.5%) was the second-fastest growing major region globally (just behind Rest of World, which rose 9.8% driven by inflationary growth in Turkey), with several key markets maintaining double-digit growth, driven by sustained significant increases in the cough, cold & allergy category (+24.2%), as well as continued robust growth in analgesics (+9.6%). Second-largest market Germany accelerated by 11.7%, with other Big 5 Western European markets similarly displaying solid advances, notably Spain (+13.4%). Romania was the strongest-performing market (+18.0%) in the reporting period and now enters the Top 20 countries globally (18th) for the first time. Owing to exchange rate impact, Russia is now Europe’s largest market — in value terms, the market grew in line with the global rate (+7.2%), although declined by 5.4% in volume terms.
  • Americas (+7.0%) saw growth in leading market USA remain below the global rate (+4.9%), but in sales terms the market has now crossed the $40bn mark, ending 2022 with an almost 26% share of global sales ($40.7bn). Sustained robust growth in cough, cold & allergy (+23.2%) helped to offset more subdued returns in other categories, notably a decline in vitamins, minerals & supplements (-1.1%). In Latin America, leading market Brazil continued to improve, ending 2022 with 21.5% growth and sustained increases observed across most major categories: cough, cold & allergy (+51.0%), dermatologicals (24.9%) and analgesics (+18.5%) being the most noteworthy.
  • Asia (+5.2%) brightened to year-end 2022. Largest market China (+4.6%) improved over the previous reporting period aided by the relaxation of the country’s lockdown restrictions in early December, and No.2 ranked Japan surged — by its standards — to 5.0% growth, driven by a dynamic performance in cough, cold & allergy (+17.1%). Combined, these markets have a share of almost 70% of total regional sales.

The broader CHC market, encompassing all channels + CBD, grew by 8.2% globally, driven by the continued expansion of e-Commerce. The pandemic accelerated growth in this channel, and while the market is slowing from the 2020 peak, the internet & mail order channel advanced by healthy double-digits (+19.4%) in 2022. The channel now accounts for 16.9% of the broader CHC market (up from 15.3% in 2021).

Nicholas Hall Writes: Consumer health in the store retail sector grew by 7.2% in calendar year 2022, and by 8.2% in all channels. That is an amazing achievement during the third and hopefully final year of the pandemic. We’re still working on our short and long-term forecasts, but we expect that over the next five years CHC in all channels will grow by 6-7%. That is still ahead of the growth rate before the pandemic and a nifty achievement bearing in mind the mega-threats referred to in this column in previous weeks.

One of our internal debates is whether the revival in the consumer health care market was more than a rectification of the hit that Cough, Cold & Allergy took during the pandemic. I was always optimistic and didn’t believe that we were merely putting back lost sales as consumers changed their lifestyle and self-care habits. This is confirmed by the fact that the CCA category is now well above pre-pandemic levels at almost US$33bn vs US$27.9bn in 2019 (store retail only). That gives great confidence, although the question remains whether CCA sales growth is sustainable.

We are pleased to announce that the DB6 year-end 2022 update is now available! Nicholas Hall’s global database DB6 offers over 150,000 pieces of data, with more than 30,000 records covering 13,000+ brands and 3,000 companies across 63 countries. Available as a full subscription or for ad hoc purchases, to find out more, or set up a free demo, please contact kate.fielding-smith@NicholasHall.com.


AUSTRALIA: Using plant-based active ingredients, Haleon’s PanaNatra tablets and soft capsules — now available in Australia – have been created to ease and manage mild muscle, joint and general pain. The line-up has three options, featuring patented ingredients to elevate the brand’s scientific credentials: 

  • PanaNatra Joint Pain Relief, formulated with Curcumin C3 Complex (a patented curcumin combination), Apresflex (a blend of boswellia extract enriched with boswellia oil & boswellic acid) and Bioperine (a unique blend of piperine that boosts absorption of curcumin)
  • PanaNatra Muscle Pain Relief with Rhuleave-K, a combination of curcuminoids and boswellia 
  • PanaNatra Sleep & Pain Relief (Ashwagandha KSM-66) 

Nicholas Hall Writes: My colleague Fiona Cooper, a staff writer at Insight Asia-Pacific, reminds me that investment in naturals was listed as part of Haleon’s growth strategy in its spin-off prospectus in mid-2022. While still in its early days as an independent company, as well as being the leading player in consumer health, Haleon has pioneered bridging the medicated and non-medicated gap with line extensions to its famous brands. Recent rollouts include PanaNatural Cough Syrup in UAE, Excedrin Head Care (to support “head health”) in USA, and VoltaNatura (topical analgesic) and FeniNatural (anti-itch) in markets across Europe. The latest launch brings natural options to Panadol, Australia’s No.1 systemic analgesic, by filling the maintenance and prevention gap that remains largely unaddressed within the category. 

Meanwhile, regulatory changes — discussions by the TGA to reduce paracetamol pack sizes, and the upscheduling of modified-release paracetamol in 2020 — make diversification an attractive option locally. These are important developments for Haleon in Australia, the analgesics category and the global consumer healthcare market. In fact, natural, organic and even vegan products are at the cutting edge of our industry.

The CHC industry is truly at a crossroads, with a great deal of uncertainty expected in the years ahead. That uncertainty extends to regulatory, and industry associations around the world keep a watchful eye open to make sure that our best interests are defended at a time when regulators want to erect even higher barriers to prevent side-effects, and in doing so discourage innovation. In that context, I’d like to give a shout-out to the work of the Global Self-Care Federation and its new Chair, Manoj Raghunandanan, and Director-General Judy Stenmark. Here at Nicholas Hall Group, we are highly supportive of the work of GSCF and for several years have sponsored their two interns. Keep up the good work!

Now is your last chance to save up to GB£1,350 when you pre-order the 2023 edition of our Innovation in CHC report, publishing this week! Drawn from CHC New Products Tracker, this report explores the rise of naturals and innovation by marketer, region and country. It showcases 10 major ingredient trends, 5 delivery format trends and 100 key innovations from 2022. For more information, or to pre-order your copy with the pre-publication discount, contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.


UK: The Government has awarded an extra £10mn (US$12mn) to the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to help bring innovative new medicines and medical technologies to patients quickly. In the Spring Budget 2023, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said: “From 2024 [the MHRA] will move to a different model, which will allow rapid, often near automatic sign-off for medicines and technologies already approved by trusted regulators in other parts of the world such as USA, Europe or Japan. From next year, a swift new approval process will be set up for the most cutting-edge medicines and devices to ensure the UK becomes a global centre for their development. And with an extra £10mn of funding over the next two years, [the MHRA] will put in place the quickest, simplest, regulatory approval in the world for companies seeking rapid market access. We are proud of our life sciences sector, which received more inward investment than any in Europe last year.”

Nicholas Hall Writes: The UK is without doubt the most liberal regulatory environment in the world – although sometimes it doesn’t feel like it on the ground. The UK is predominant in Rx-to-OTC switch: HRT and the daily oral contraceptive have been switched as global or regional firsts. Last week, we announced that Cialis had been approved in the UK as a global pioneer (although the ingredient tadalafil is already available OTC in Poland), and the UK is home to the topical ED treatment, MED3000, which has the potential to challenge sildenafil and tadalafil as it claims comparable efficacy without side-effects. There are blind spots, of course, including melatonin and CBD, but the good news continues to roll.

Futura Medical’s MED3000 (brand name Eroxon) will roll out across Europe in the coming months

The switch of Gina, the first HRT treatment, is especially important, although Novo Nordisk seems an unlikely OTC pioneer. Perhaps that is why the company has run into difficulties in the weight loss sector. In recent editions of Newsflash, we’ve commented on the growing incidence of obesity and excess weight, now of almost stratospheric proportions; but new treatments have failed to take off. That is why the launch of Novo’s Wegovy is so important, and at some stage could be a switch candidate. Let’s hope that the suspension of Novo Nordisk by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry is just a slap on the wrist and doesn’t dent the reputation of this interesting new product or lessen Novo Nordisk’s enthusiasm to invest in the UK.

And the latest news from the British government is that it is looking for an even faster route to market for innovative new products, piggybacking on approvals given by trusted regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions. This is a sure sign that the UK government continues to be amongst the most progressive in healthcare and has been since 1985.

ED treatments is one of the categories explored in our recent Sexual Health & Fertility report. Other categories reviewed include daily OCs, male & feminine intimate care and menstrual products. To order your copy, or for more information, contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.