OTCs in Action Episode 31: Therapeutic Devices as Band-Aids and Beyond

OTCinActionheaderAlthough they prevent infection, Band-Aids with fun characters do not really make the pain go away – but little children think that is what happens. Tears, Band-Aid, then tremulous Smile is a gratifying cycle for parents. As we get older, we learn that it’s the capsule or cream that actually minimises the pain.

However, that paradigm is shifting — clinically proven therapeutic devices are OTCs in Action. A medical student at Aarhus University in Denmark has developed the tiny nasal filter, Rhinix, which prevents allergy symptoms when inserted in the nose. Earlier this month, study results for Rhinix were presented at the 2015 Annual Congress of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Although the trial was small, held over two days with 65 allergy sufferers, the filters made a significant reduction in blocked nose, runny nose, nasal itching, sneezing and itchy, swollen and watery eyes when compared to placebo, Nicholas Hall & Company’s OTC.NewDirections reported this week. 

Consumer demand for OTC allergy treatments is supported by sales data. The global market for OTC systemic and topical allergy treatments was valued at $7.7bn in 2014*, a 26% increase since 2010. This growth has been driven by the switch of successful Rx allergy brands to OTC status.

But Rx-to-OTC switch need not be the only way to deliver safe and cost-effective treatment to consumers. Perhaps it’s time to view the market with younger eyes as technology enables products that made us feel better as children, actually prevent and treat symptoms.

*Source: Nicholas Hall & Company’s DB6 Global OTC Database.