Nicholas Hall’s 4th Latin American Consumer Healthcare Conference was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil last week and attracted a large and enthusiastic audience. This vitality is reflected in OTC growth trends – according to the latest MAT Q3 2018 figures, which will be published along with trend reports on the OTC DASHBOARD website soon, Latin America remains the fastest-growing region in the global OTC market, with sales up 12.8% to US$8.5bn in the year to end-September 2018.
Brazil is at the heart of this upturn, as shown by our chart below displaying the Top 5 countries in the region. Brazil’s OTC market is enjoying continued double-digit growth, and accounts for almost half of regional turnover, ahead of Mexico and Colombia. There is currently a proposal to create a legal mass market for CHC products in Brazil, which could provide further fuel for OTC growth, however there is currently strong opposition from doctors, pharmacists and, surprisingly, consumer associations, so the proposal is unlikely to be approved in its present form.
Here’s a brief roundup of all presentations at our 4th Latin American Consumer Healthcare Conference – a fuller review will be in the next issue of OTC INSIGHT Latina:
- Juan Thompson (ILAR): Huge savings for public health systems could be made by encouraging OTC treatment of common, non-serious conditions, thereby reducing public expenses.
- Andre di Donato (MyPharma2go): By understanding the intricacies of the region’s regulatory systems, we can take advantage of legislation, rather than being restricted by it, and gain in-depth market insights. In particular, MyPharma2go is detailing Brazilian doctors to write prescriptions for high-strength supplements imported from the USA, which are delivered to individual consumers / patients in under 14 days — in the case of Celebrity Vitamins, the company is generating 2,000 prescriptions a day.
- Rodrigo Ribeiro (GSK): Recommendation is the most powerful tool we have, so we cannot underestimate the importance of investing in HCP promotion and education, in addition to informative consumer-oriented advertising.
- Tatiana Raposo Pires (Herbalife): It is likely that the food supplements industry in Brazil will benefit greatly from ANVISA’s new category definition, including specific and simplified legislation; however, there are still some obstacles to overcome, particularly relating to probiotics, which offer high-growth potential.
- Rodrigo Garcia (Pfizer): There are many regulatory barriers to switch in LatAm, including political and social; but public education and encouraging regulatory agencies to recognise increasing consumer understanding of OTCs are key to pushing for switch.
- Rosana Sun (Adigo) reminded us of the importance of human emotions and the essential human differences in developing relationships and interacting with others in the business world.
- Julio Cesar do Monte (J&J): In order to survive in a changing and increasingly-digitalised environment, companies need to remain open and flexible to change, looking to technology for new ways to gain a competitive advantage.
- Keith Garrity: Outsourcing and brand fostering is increasingly popular as part of companies’ global growth strategy, recognising the importance of local nuance and market specifics.
Stay up to date with the latest trends and developments impacting Latin America in Nicholas Hall’s OTC INSIGHT Latin America. This bi-monthly publication includes new product activity, recent LatAM news, a global OTC update and much more. To receive a sample issue or for details of subscription rates, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com