Focus on China: Trade agreement with USA imminent?

otcinaction

Some welcome news for the global economy which broke over the weekend, as announced by the US trade representative, is that the US and China are “close to finalising some sections” of an interim agreement to ease trade tensions between the two countries. This is also a welcome development for OTC marketers, including RB, whose newly-appointed CEO Laxman Narasimhan recently stated that the company’s disappointing Q3 performance was primarily due to issues in USA and China.

Growth in China’s OTC market slowed to 5.3% in the MAT Q2 2019 period, owing to a low key cough & cold season and a weakening economy. Nicholas Hall was a speaker at the Global Self-Care Federation (GCSF) conference – a joint meeting of the Chinese, Asian and global CHC associations, held in Beijing last week – and wrote: “It is always valuable to come to the second-largest CHC market, which in just a few years will be the world’s biggest economy. There are major opportunities here, but increasing challenges too as the Government takes a tougher line on pricing and distribution, without easing the regulatory barriers.”

EHm40p0UcAUKho_.jpg

Judy Stenmark kicked off proceedings at the GSCF 2019 conference

Nicholas Hall also wrote that: “Among the many presentations during the 2 days, some of which lasted for as little as 15 minutes – this was truly a conveyor belt conference, with only one panel discussion and no questions from the floor – a presentation that stood out for me was from Conba, a company about which I knew very little. Hu Jiqiang, Chairman of Conba Group, made the startling claim that Conba will become the biggest producer of medical cannabis in China and possibly the world … And, of course, the presentation by Alibaba Health was one to sit up and listen to at the end of an exhausting two days. This really is a game-changing company as I discuss in my New Paradigms report.

The rise of Chinese marketers within the global OTC rankings has been a notable trend in 2019. Our latest MAT Q2 2019 data shows that China Resources 999 now takes 9th position globally, and grew by 7.3% in the year to end-June 2019. Additionally, as explored in one of our recent blog posts, By-Health has broken into the global Top 20 and now claims 15th spot. This company has bucked the trend of decelerating growth in China, with sales growing by 31% in MAT Q2 2019. China accounts for over 90% of By-Health’s OTC portfolio turnover, with Australia accounting for the remainder.

Some of the latest innovations and technologies impacting CHC will be at the forefront of the agenda at next month’s OTC.NewDirections Executive Conference, which will take place in London on 14 November, with speakers from key players including Mundipharma, J&J and Bayer. Please contact jennifer.odonnell@NicholasHall.com to book your place or find out more. If you are unable to join us, you can always view Nicholas’ opening address live at 09:05 GMT here

Lifestyle OTCs still the best hope for OTC switch revival

otcinaction

2019 has been a slow year for Rx-to-OTC switch news, with activity dropping off markedly in the key US market in recent years, and Asia-Pacific (especially China, Japan and Indonesia) and Europe (Poland especially) the main source of developments. In this context, it was welcome news last week that Norway will become the second European market for OTC Viagra, after the Norwegian Medicines Agency approved the OTC sale of Viagra Reseptfri (Pfizer, sildenafil 50mg) erectile dysfunction treatment to men aged 18+ years, with this to be accompanied by pharmacist advice.

Pfizer plans to launch Viagra Reseptfri in pharmacies in early 2020, while Rx Viagra will remain available. The medicines agency recommends that men have a check-up with their doctor within six months of purchase so that any potential underlying conditions can be investigated. Viagra Reseptfri will be the first medicine available in Norway under the country’s new category of non-prescription medicine with guidance, and the Rx-to-OTC switch follows similar measures elsewhere in Europe. In Poland, sildenafil 25mg is available OTC from a number of domestic players, with initial launch from Adamed in May 2016, while Viagra Connect was launched in the UK in March 2018.

Of the 20 key markets covered by OTC New Products Tracker every month since the start of 2013, Poland has been the most active in terms of Rx-to-OTC switch activity, with 54 products reclassified to non-prescription status. A liberal switch environment has helped bring about a raft of Rx-to-OTC switches since 2014, including Europe’s first OTC erectile dysfunction brand and Poland’s first OTC systemic cold sore treatment.

Viagra Norway

Despite some notable failures (such as urinary product Flomax Relief), so-called “lifestyle” drugs remain the primary source of switch activity, helping to extend the reach of the OTC market into new categories such as contraception, erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. A key switch development in 2019 was the downscheduling in Japan of Taisho’s hyperlipidaemia treatment Epadel T (ethyl eicosapentaenoate) to Class I OTC, where sales are permitted in pharmacies (and online) after professional consultation. Downscheduling may have come just in the nick of time – sales data suggest Epadel T had failed to make any noticeable impact on the OTC market in its almost six years as an Instruction-Required Drug.

There also remains hope that Sanofi may one day market Eli Lilly’s erectile dysfunction treatment Cialis as an OTC medicine (it owns the rights to market Cialis OTC in the USA, UK, Canada and Australia), but is switch application has been stuck at the FDA a full five years since its submission. In July 2019, Sanofi also signed a deal with Roche for the exclusive OTC rights to Tamiflu (oseltamivir 75mg capsules, Genentech / Roche Group) for flu prevention and treatment in the USA. Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi will be responsible for leading negotiations with the US FDA for the OTC switch and subsequent exclusive marketing, scientific engagement and distribution of Tamiflu OTC in the USA. Let’s hope for the sake of OTC growth that its negotiations go smoothly.

Clear your diary for Nicholas Hall’s 31st European Conference, which will be held in Athens on 28-30 April 2020, on the theme of Advancing in CHC: The Must-Dos and  Reasons Behind Them. To register your interest in this event, or for more information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact jennifer.odonnell@NicholasHall.com.

Alibaba and Walmart report strong Q2

otcinaction

Our blog this week rounds up the latest retail news, including recent Q2 results from Walmart and Alibaba, and a focus on M&A activity in Asia-Pacific. China’s Alibaba trumped analysts’ expectations with a 42% year-on-year jump in quarterly revenues to Rmb114.92bn (US$16.3bn), contrasting with its rival Tencent which one day earlier disappointed the market by falling short with a more modest quarterly growth (though Tencent did report a 26% year-on-year increase in profit).

Alibaba’s CEO, Daniel Zhang, said the company “had a great quarter, expanding our user base to 674mn annual active consumers, and demonstrating our superior user experience. We will continue to expand our customer base, increase operating efficiency and deliver robust growth. With strong cashflow from our core e-commerce business, we will continue to invest in technology and bring digital transformation to millions of businesses globally.” 

Alibaba is also reportedly looking to acquire Kaola’s cross-border online shopping platform from rival NetEase, according to two people familiar with the matter, as China’s highly competitive US$2tn e-commerce market takes early steps towards consolidation.  

netease-kaola-1600x832

Meanwhile, Walmart has raised its outlook for the USA and said US consumers were in “solid” financial health as it shrugged off the Trump administration’s trade war with Beijing and turmoil elsewhere in bricks-and-mortar retail. Walmart revenues rose by 1.8% in fiscal Q2 2020 to US$130bn (+2.9% on a constant currency basis). USA sales were US$85.2bn (+2.9%) and the retailer noted that it is gaining market share in key categories, including health & wellness; e-commerce sales grew by 37%. International sales fell by 1.1% to US$29.1bn (+3.3% excluding currency impacts). Strength in Mexican subsidiary Walmex and China were offset by softness in UK and Canada. 

In Brazil, No.1 drugstore chain RaiaDrogasil (RD) reported better than expected results, seeing its national share rise to 13% in Q2 2019 (up 1.6% vs Q2 2018). Another drugstore chain quickly gaining share in Brazil is Farmarcas, which looks set to become the No.4 ranked chain by end-2019 after reporting even stronger results than RD, putting pressure on established players Drogaria DPSP and Pague Menos.

As for M&A activity:

• In Japan, drugstore operator Cocokara Fine is pursuing a merger with rival Matsumotokiyoshi in a deal that could create a market leader with sales of around ¥1tn (US$9.4bn)

• Amazon, which is looking to boost its bricks & mortar presence in the fast-growing Indian market, is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire up to 10% of Future Retail, the country’s No.2 retailer

• AS Watson (an affiliate of CK Hutchison Holdings) is in talks with potential partners in UAE with a view to introducing its health & beauty stores there

Take a look at the evolution of Pharmacy and Pharmacy Point-of-Care in the Distribution chapter in our new report, Nicholas Hall’s New Paradigms for CHC 2019: Over the Horizon, written by Nicholas himself! Other chapters will include Healthcare Trends, Regulation, Digital engagement amongst many others. Nicholas will also unveil the 15 “Infinity Zones” he has identified as being crucial to the future growth of the industry. You can upgrade your purchase to include a customised in-house presentation or webinar with Nicholas for an additional GB£10,000. To find out more or to pre-order your copy, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

Homeopathy under increasing scrutiny

otcinaction

France is the latest country in recent years to call into question the role and efficacy of homeopathy, as governments look for savings in the healthcare budget. Last week’s announcement by France’s Minister for Solidarity & Health Agnes Buzyn that homeopathic medicines will be dereimbursed in France from 1st January 2021 is another blow to this consumer healthcare niche. In 2017, NHS England recommended that doctors no longer prescribe “ineffective, over-priced and low value treatments”, including homeopathy, which is said to have no clear or robust evidence to support use.

The French decision was based on a final recommendation by the Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) stating that homeopathics have little proven efficacy and should not be covered by health insurance. In its assessment, which spanned 9 months, HAS evaluated close to 1,200 homeopathic products, many of which are currently reimbursed up to 30% when prescribed. In the interim, the level of reimbursement available for certain homeopathics will be cut from 30% to 15% on 1st January 2020, allowing consumers, manufacturers and prescribers time to prepare for eventual dereimbursement.

Homeopathy

Voicing its shock at the decision, key homeopathic player Boiron – which markets various leading OTCs in France, such as teething product Camilia – stated that around 1,000 jobs would be directly affected by the dereimbursement, given that 60% of the company’s business is in France and almost 70% of that is linked to reimbursed medicines. A November 2018 survey by Ipsos revealed that 77% of French people have used homeopathics.

In other countries, such as Spain and the USA, there has been a clampdown on homeopathic health claims. In November 2018, as part of a new marketing authorisation process for homeopathy, the AEMPS (Spanish Agency of Medicines & Medical Devices) indicated that homeopathics with no permitted therapeutic indication must state, “Sin indicaciones terapeuticas” (Without therapeutic indication) on packaging. Likewise, in May 2018, the American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists announced that all homeopathic manufacturers will be encouraged to use the new disclaimer: “Claims based on traditional homeopathic practice, not accepted medical evidence. Not FDA evaluated.”

Keep up to date with the latest in-depth reporting on homeopathy by subscribing to OTC INSIGHT! We have 4 title covering the latest developments in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and North America. Click here to find out what key features OTC INSIGHT includes. To receive a sample issue or for details of subscription rates, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

Switch and focus on fun to drive sexual health OTC sales

otcinaction

Presenting his Infinity Zones at the 30th European CHC Conference in Vienna, Nicholas Hall indicated that the OTC sexual health category – including oral contraceptives, morning-after pill and erectile dysfunction treatments, as well as condoms and other barrier method products – could be worth €10bn within the next 10 years.

Rx-to-OTC switch will be key to unlocking the growth of OCs and ED treatments, with Pfizer leading the way after the switch of Viagra Connect (sildenafil) in the UK. Whether other marketers will follow suit remains an open question – Nicholas pointed out that Bayer has said it will not switch Levitra (vardenafil), while Sanofi is held up in regulatory with Cialis (tadalafil), as it attempts to make the case to the FDA for the pubic health advantages of ED products.

As well as switch, the way OTC sexual health products are promoted will also be an important factor in future growth of the category. Nicholas Hall was concerned that ED might become a miserable consumer healthcare category, more about treatment rather than pleasure, but Pfizer’s UK campaign for Viagra Connect indicated otherwise.

Switch and a change of mindset (at both regulatory and consumer level) could also unlock OTC growth of OCs. A Macquarie University study commissioned by Consumer Healthcare Products Australia and published in PharmacoEconomics in May 2019 suggests that reclassifying oral contraceptive pills from Rx to pharmacy-only could save A$96mn (US$66.4mn) a year in costs to the Australian healthcare system and save 22 lives in total over 35 years.

A Markov model was used to synthesise data from various sources, including the Household, Income & Labour Dynamics in Australia survey. The modelling suggests that reclassifying the pill would lead to an 8.3% fall in pregnancies, resulting in fewer miscarriages, terminations, ectopic pregnancies, stillbirths and other adverse events. CHP Australia CEO, Dr Deon Schoombie said: “Both sides of politics have recognised the potential benefit with the Queensland Labor Government instigating a trial for continued dispensing of oral contraceptives in April 2019; Federal Labor committing to tasking the TGA to investigate ways to increase access to oral contraceptives during the 2019 Federal Election; and the Liberal Opposition in Victoria committed to making oral contraceptives available OTC during the 2018 State Election.” 

As Nicholas Hall said, “With Rx-to-OTC switch at an all-time low globally, CHP Australia does well to remind us that oral contraception is an important growth opportunity. As with all future switches, the public health benefits will be as important as the net savings to society and the commercial opportunities for our industry.”

Sexual health will be one of the key topics in our upcoming report, Nicholas Hall’s New Paradigms for CHC 2019: Over the Horizon, written by Nicholas himself! Examine each aspect of the CHC industry in 20 chapters, with a focus on major issues including Regulation, Pharmacy Point-of-Care, M&A, Switch and much more. Nicholas will also unveil the “infinity zones” he has identified as being crucial to the future growth of the industry. In addition to this, you can upgrade your purchase to include a customised in-house presentation or webinar with Nicholas for an additional GB£10,000. To find out more or to place your order, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

Nicholas Hall’s Conference Report

otcinaction

Nicholas Hall sends this report from the 30th European CHC Conference, held last week in Vienna.

Well, after three days packed with expertise and insights, my key takeaways from the Vienna are as follows:

• Consumers are increasingly demanding personalisation of products and services, with digitalisation key to both driving and meeting this demand

• Digital is disrupting conventional paradigms of healthcare

• The empowered consumer expects to sit at the centre of their wellbeing, playing an active role in their healthcare choices. The role of HCPs is moving away from paternalism and closer to that of a mentor or coach

• In terms of technology, we must ensure we are delivering real added value to the consumer, using insights to generate a deeper understanding of what motivates them

• Don’t be afraid to partner with other companies and service providers to deliver the holistic care consumers increasingly seek

After I took to the stage to give my keynote reviewing the trends of the past year and outlining what is next for CHC, Tamara Rogers, SVP & Region Head, EMEA Consumer Healthcare, GSK reviewed the Consumers of the Future = CEOs of their Own Bodies.

She explained that the wealth of data available offers great opportunities to the consumer healthcare industry, but that we must have the ability to interpret it and leverage insights to better know, understand and connect to the consumer.

Tamara was followed by Luca Pagano, Group CEO, BeMyEye, who explained how the BeMyEye disruptive technology allows marketers to maximise the performance of their brands in the retail space, delivering actionable insights to constantly monitor their in-store execution. The most transformational companies are implementing new methodologies for their go-to-market strategies. BeMyEye allows marketers to respond to retail trends in real-time, enabling them to implement continuous performance improvements.

After the presentation of our Awards shortlists, Grigoris Karelos, Country Director, Greece & Cyprus, J&J, asked us “whether we create “Love Brands”? He argued that, by definition, communication about healthcare products is negative as we discuss illness and symptoms. Therefore, the way we talk about our brand is crucial. We must create emotional connections based on consumer insight to create impactful and relevant communication. It is important to have a clear and consistent brand belief if we want to create long-lasting relationships with consumers. However, the ways in which we communicate this message must evolve in order to stay relevant.

We were then lucky to be joined by Daragh Anglim, Managing Director, Prohibition Partners, to explore the Medical Cannabis landscape of Europe.

This is such a fast-paced and exciting category, yet Daragh explained there is a real lack of education for HCPs on this subject – it has been legal in the UK since November 2018, but has yet to be prescribed on the NHS, with doctors taking a risk-averse approach.

There is a need for education and clarity about the medical use of cannabis. There’s an existing user base for the product, so it’s not about educating on what it is, necessarily, but rather its safe usage, therapeutic applications and medical benefits

Medical cannabis offers huge growth potential, but independent and reliable data is necessary to drive the category forwards.

The Business of Being & Feeling Well was the next topic presented by both Dr Rodney Collins, Regional Director, EMEA, McCann Truth Central and Harjot Singh, Chief Strategy Officer, McCann Worldgroup EMEA. They argued that the notion of wellness and what it means to be well have evolved, with people today regarding it more as a state of mind, and one of the largest unmet needs is helping people to be happy and stay positive. Technology is improving peoples’ sense of wellness, but we must ensure that the technology is relevant and delivers added value, or else it becomes technology for technology’s sake.

Dr Iris Hardewig, Senior Consultant, Analyze & Realise explored Digitalisation in the Natural Health Space, and identified key areas in the natural health sphere where digitalisation plays a role, including growing interest in personalised products. Consumers increasingly want to know more about themselves, possible through tools such as tracking and genomics, and are willing to invest in personalised natural health products to supplement their health and lifestyles. Prevention has been a growing theme in recent years, albeit at a slower pace in Europe, and we see continued investment in this segment. Much of the investment in personalisation of supplements and natural products – achieved via digitalisation – comes largely from start-ups, rather than established pharma players.

Iris was then followed by a series of Innovation talks over coffee, led by Don McKernan of Impact and our partners at The CHC Innovation Connection.

Back to the main stage, the next presentation showed us How Digital is Changing People’s Relationship with Health, and was led by Milena Leone, Head of Innovation & Digital Consumer Healthcare, Sanofi. She argued that in terms of digital, pharma lags far behind other industries. Through the creation of the ÜWell digital platform, Sanofi has sought to meet the needs of consumers who are becoming more curious, demanding and impatient. She explained how the ÜWell digital health platform is designed to simplify, speed up and improve consumer access to HCPs and healthcare services. ÜWell is an omni-channel strategy that allows consumers to manage their health independently, acting as a personal digital health coach.

Our final presenter of Day 1 was Dave McCaughan, who took a lighthearted look at the “History of Underwear” to explain that we must recognise and react to social change in order to maintain a meaningful relationship with the consumer, adapting to an evolving society in order to remain relevant. Stressing the importance of recognising social shifts to create meaningful relationships with consumers, Dave stated, “we live in a world driven by emotional benefit. Science and technology are the support”.

0

Opening Day 2 was Niklas Larsson, PhD, Research Director, Probi, who took a detailed look at Probiotics and Female Health , exploring New Benefits and New Consumers.

He reviewed how probiotics for women’s health have historically focused on vaginal health, yet Probi is going beyond this and addressing other concerns that primarily affect women: anaemia (largely in teenagers and women of child-bearing age) and osteopenia and osteoporosis (in post-menopausal women). Niklas proudly reported that the products have strong efficacy, backed by animal trials and clinical trials, and offer health benefits for women throughout various stages of their lives.

Next up was CEO of Austria’s Institut AllergoSan, Anita Frauwallner, with a presentation entitled “With a little help from my friends” Or How Tiny Bacteria Helped Me to Outperform the German and Austrian OTC Market.

Established in 1991, Institut Allergosan began with a focus on innovation, employing a different approach to probiotics which included high CFU and multiple strains. Its first clinical trial was so successful that it’s still viewed as one of the Top 12 ever probiotic clinical trials in the world, according to the World Gastroenterology Association. Highlighting the importance of R&D in her business model, Anita detailed that they have more than 40 trials running currently, and research co-operations with all five university hospitals in Austria, as well as international co-operations. For Anita, research not only helps you realise what’s possible, but it builds trust in what you do.

Our data partners for France, OpenHealth Company, were represented by Nicolas Grelaud, Commercial & Marketing Director, who explored Meeting New Health Consumer Expectation: Engaging Experiences and Naturals. A complex subject by definition, we face challenges in multiple areas, including changes in demographics, culture and technology. Nicolas recognised that we must recognise the increasing demand for natural products, with 1 in 4 consumers preferring to take a natural treatment rather than a medicine. We are witnessing a shift in the consumer paradigm. Our health consumers used to be patients, and then became consumers, and they have now evolved to “Consum’actors”, who are open-minded and engaged in their healthcare decision-making process, often seeking natural and local alternatives and asking for personalised solutions. Nicolas stated that pharmacists must evolve, adapt and reinvent in light of this new healthcare consumer, becoming the place of truth that the consumer is expecting.

Our next presenter was Martyn Hilton, Chief Global Commercial & Marketing Director, HRA Pharma, who explored How the Digital Landscape is Changing the HRA Pharma Business Model. Detailing the digital strategy behind HRA Pharma’s two focus brands, ellaOne and Compeed, Martyn explained the importance of understanding the role the digital environment plays in the consumer journey today, as well as tomorrow, and also urged delegates to identify where we can look to intercept and influence consumers. We must create content that‘s relevant and in the right format for our intended audience.

Pointing to disruption in the way consumers access medicines, through tools such as telemedicine and mail-order, Martyn detailed that HRA Pharma invests in click & collect and delivery methods for ellaOne in certain markets, which have been received positively.

Alessia Scarpocchi, Market & Digital Strategies Director, Apoteca Natura, Strategic & Web at Aboca Group gave a presentation reviewing An Integrated Digital System to Evolve Customers’ Healthcare Journey: The Apoteca Natura Experience.

She explained what Abioa are doing to keep ahead in the digital age – going beyond simply providing products and services to purchase, the company instead wants to offer health solutions for people, with the individual at the heart of its mission. Digital tools are key to supporting  this ambitious positioning, with a range of training materials available for pharmacists, as well as a multi-channel approach to its direct-to-consumer communication. The company launched its Health & Wellness System 1.5 years ago, with digital dashboards developed for all stakeholders, including the possibility of loyalty system for consumers. The MyApotecaNatura app includes a number of tools and functions to allow consumers to engage in their health management, including tracking metrics, creating a health profile and accessing healthcare information. Initial result are very encouraging, with around 175 thousand app downloads and impressive levels of user engagement.

From TV-centric to Digital-led: A Paradigm Shift in Consumer Healthcare – our final speaker was Maurizio Luongo, Corporate Consumer Health BU Director for Menarini. Pointing to the evolving consumer who demands more digital tools to make personal healthcare choices, Maurizio outlined how Menarini has risen to the challenge of the shifting paradigm, with two of the key elements in the digital journey being attention and relevance. He concluded that we must combine technology, processes and organisational structure if we are to achieve digital operational excellence.

Alongside these inspirational sessions, we were so proud to host various networking opportunities, and of course to celebrate successes with our Marketing Awards. We were grateful to be joined by MSF to discuss their charitable activities, and to present them with a donation from The Nicholas Hall Group.

As I wrapped up the event yesterday, I announced that our 2020 meeting will be in Athens, where I hope to see many of you again!

CHPA Report & Conference

otcinaction

Last week, to tie in with its Annual Executive Conference (AEC), the Consumer Healthcare Products Association released a white paper that found, on average, every dollar spent on OTC medicines saves the US healthcare system around US$7.20, resulting in nearly US$146bn in savings annually. CHPA President & CEO Scott Melville commented that the “healthcare system undervalues the contribution of our industry’s products”, and explained that the research will support legislative initiatives promoting financial incentives for consumers to buy OTCs using health insurance flexible spending plans.

OTCD_Infographics_data_5

Done in partnership with IRI, the study was conducted in part to raise the profile of OTC products in USA. It found that around 90% of people who buy an OTC product for a condition would seek medical care if the OTC product had not been available. The study analysed nine OTC categories to identify the primary contributors of cost savings to the healthcare system. The categories include allergy, analgesics, antifungals, cough / cold / flu, lower GI, medicated skin, upper GI, sleep and smoking control. The research showed that OTC medicines provide additional value through expanded access to more than 27mn consumers who would otherwise forgo treatment – more than 13mn Americans for allergies alone.

OTCD_Infographics_data_3

Writing from Florida, Nicholas Hall said: “Trust was a major theme of CHPA’s Annual Executive Conference … Edelman presented data showing that consumer trust of healthcare is improving after plummeting last year. Speakers agreed that trust goes beyond building brands. In a session I moderated on Tuesday, Bayer CH President Heiko Schipper said that our industry needs to, “articulate better what we do. We are doing a lot of good things like being responsible for the environment and employee diversity”.

Taisho Executive VP Ken Uehara agreed: “Trust can’t be built instantly, certainly for our company, it’s our most important asset.” Alan Main, Executive VP, Sanofi, commented that in the past it was about building the brand: “I still think the brand comes first in people’s minds, but we have to look after the brands, not just for five years but for 30-40 years.” Katie Devine, who is moving into a new leadership role at J&J, said companies can choose not to reply to every tweet, but should maintain a fact-based conversation about being responsible in the treatment of employees, the population and planet.

Other questions I addressed to the Leadership Panel concerned the lack of Rx-to-OTC switch (Alan Main said switch has an important role to play in the future of self-care); CBD (all panellists believe it will develop well beyond the current US$500mn quoted by IRI, although Katie’s point, “I know how to switch from Rx to OTC, but not from illegal to legal”, was well taken); and the number one item on their wish list — speed to market and improved innovation were favourites … I liked the concentrated format of this year’s AEC, with two half-day sessions, which allowed time for networking, and was proud to have been one of three Preferred Sponsors of the meeting, in the good company of Google and the Emerson Group.”

Nicholas Hall will discuss the latest Market Trends and Innovation impacting the CHC market at our annual North American CHC Conference (26-27 June) in collaboration with our partners EverythingHealth. As well as the chance to network with other industry players, you can hear from Google, Jefferson Health, Persuadable Research and other industry experts. Don’t hesitate — book before 31 March to save with our generous early-bird booking discount! To find out more about this event, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.