OTC Switch Update: China and Austria news

Significant Rx-to-OTC switch developments have recently been announced in the Chinese and Austrian markets. In China, the NMPA medical agency has approved the following switches from Rx to OTC (Class A, pharmacy-only):
• Slow-release ambroxol hydrochloride tablets 75mg (dual status cough remedy)
• Lactulose oral solution 67g per 100ml in 100ml or 200ml bottles (dual status laxative)
• Saccharomyces boulardii sachets 0.25g per bag (antidiarrhoeal)
• Glucosamine sulphate potassium capsules 0.25g (joint health)
• TCM systemic cold & flu remedies: Shufeng Jiedu Capsules (0.52g per capsule) and Qingkailing Effervescent Tablets (1g per tablet, dual status)
• TCM sore throat remedies: Huangshi Xiangsheng Tea 0.8g per sachet and Huangshi Xiangsheng Lozenge 0.6g per tablet (both dual status)
Source: Nicholas Hall’s Rx-to-OTC Switch Hot Topic Report

In Austria, Stada has launched Aurasin Akut (zolmitriptan 2.5mg tablets; 2-count SKU; suitable for consumers aged 18-65 years), which is indicated for the acute treatment of the headache phase of migraine attacks, with or without aura. Said to be a “game changer” by the marketer, this is the first non-prescription triptan in Austria after Stada received OTC authorisation for Zolmitriptan Stada 2.5mg in April 2021, while other zolmitriptan-based products remain Rx. A+P support will include radio, print and online activity from August 2021. This development brings Austria in line with the rest of DACH subregion: in Germany sumatriptan was switched from Rx-to-OTC status, and age restrictions (18-65 years) for almotriptan and naratriptan were removed, effective November 2020; while in Switzerland, as of July 2021, multiple triptans can be dispensed without a prescription following face-to-face consultation with the pharmacist.

Comment from Head of Consumer Healthcare at Stada Austria, Ulrich Grottenthaler: With the introduction of Aurasin Akut, a targeted, OTC, well-tolerated treatment for acute migraine attacks is made possible for the first time. The active ingredient zolmitriptan is already well established and also acts where the migraine pain originates. This sets us apart from other non-Rx painkillers. With Aurasin Akut, we enable patients who have once been diagnosed with migraine to get the best therapy for acute migraine attacks in an uncomplicated way and without a prescription in Austrian pharmacies — simply and quickly!

Now is your last chance to join this week’s hot topic webinar focusing on Immunity & Other Drivers of Consumer Healthcare for Europe. Taking place Wednesday 21 July, topics on the agenda will include WOW! brands, e-Commerce and disinfection, plus much more. To register, or to find out more, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

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