OTCs in Action Episode 38: Owning the ailment with “Prodices”


This week, “Prodices” – hybrids of products and services – are OTCs in Action. All OTC brands have a web page, many tweet and post on social media, and a few offer apps to help manage self-treatment. Brands that include diagnostic tools, OTC therapy and condition monitoring are Prodices, according to Sorento Healthcare’s Susan Josi, Nicholas Hall’s Network Partner in India. She shares her exciting perspective in this month’s edition of Nicholas Hall’s OTC INSIGHT Asia-Pacific:

At a time when technologies are converging and boundaries are blurring, the once clear divide between product and service is becoming hazier. So how do we create consumer-centric solutions in the context of the brands we handle and the ailments they treat? The answer is to take the best of both worlds – the advantages without the disadvantages. Welcome to the age of “Prodices”, a term coined by pharmacist and author Jordi Bernal Fiego to describe hybrids of products and services, which seamlessly integrate the original advantages and features of each and offer a solid value proposition for the consumer.” The concept of Prodices is still in its infancy but some healthcare companies have already implemented these types of services in basic ways.

The following are some examples of Prodices currently available to consumers:

  • iCan (Piramal Enterprises). In India, Piramal launched the i-canhelp webpage to support its pregnancy test brand, Elevit (Bayer)
  • In S Korea, Bayer updated the website for its pregnancy multivitamin to include an ovulation calendar to help with conception
  • Benza (Takeda). Takeda operates an online pollen forecast to support cough, cold & allergy brand Benza in Japan
  • Calpol (J&J). In the UK, J&J developed a smartphone app for children’s systemic analgesic Calpol, which includes features such as a temperature tracker and symptom checker

Owning the ailment

A more futuristic prospect is available to create a Prodice model for brands to straddle the continuum of care from diagnosis to treatment adherence and monitoring, to ensure that health outcomes are positive. The key to developing this model is to map the consumer’s journey more intimately in a bid to understand the various interventions needed to help them get a more positive outcome while managing their condition. These interventions can be varied and, in many cases, cannot be addressed by one company alone. Therefore co-creation through collaborations or acquisitions will be the order of the day.

It is evident that the most enterprising healthcare companies of today are preparing to embrace a distinctly different future in this domain. These early movers are attempting to secure their innovation and organisational efforts around the concept of “owning the ailment” – as opposed to merely “treating it” – with products, services and solutions across the entire continuum of care.

To read the full article, visit Nicholas Hall’s OTC INSIGHT web page:


Sorento Healthcare Communications includes CubeX, its Strategic Consulting & Business Intelligence division. If you would like to find out more about CubeX – which has expertise in consumer healthcare and wellness – please write to reports@cubex.co.in