It’s with sadness we observe the discontinuation of Oxytrol for Women overactive bladder treatment, which Bayer acquired through the purchase of MSD’s consumer health brands last year. While it’s true that the oxybutynin transdermal patch never generated the level of sales MSD hoped for, it will be remembered as an important Rx-to-OTC switch because it created a new OTC category for millions of women suffering from OAB.
In late 2012, I learned about the pervasiveness of the condition when I covered the FDA’s Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee hearing on the Rx-to-OTC switch of oxybutynin:
Oxytrol for Women: Benefits of OTC status
According to MSD, OAB is an important public health issue with an estimated 20mn women in the US suffering from symptoms, which include urinary urgency, and is usually associated with urinary frequency and waking at night to urinate. The median age of OAB sufferers is 52 and many women incorrectly assume it is an untreatable aspect of ageing. Anthony Visco MD, president of the American Urogynecologic Society, said it is a myth that OAB is a normal part of ageing and that the potential benefits of OTC Oxytrol for Women outweigh the risks.
Elizabeth LaGro, Director of Communications for the Simon Foundation for Continence, explained that the majority of women suffering from OAB wait seven years to report the problem. In the meantime, it has a “tremendous effect on their lives”. Normal activities stop, she said, when women are afraid they will not be able to get to a bathroom. They suffer isolation, depression, anxiety and embarrassment. Younger women suffer strained marriages and many families are unable to go on outings. “OTC treatment of OAB will help, maybe for the first time, women manage their conditions, rather than coping with it,” she concluded.
(OTC INSIGHT NORTH AMERICA, November 2012)
The OTC industry prides itself on meeting consumer needs. Let’s put OTCs in Action to take the next step in this category and develop a lasting OTC treatment for women and men suffering from bladder control problems.
For more information about Nicholas Hall & Co’s OTC INSIGHT NORTH AMERICA, click on the link below: