Q3 2017: Global OTC growth stays at 4.7%

According to the latest figures published by Nicholas Hall’s global OTC sales database DB6, the OTC market maintained 4.6% growth in MAT Q3 2017. Commenting on the results, DB6 VP Celine Waller said: “Russia remained the fastest-growing leading market, though its growth slowed slightly compared to MAT Q2 2017 (+17.3%). Brazil and Turkey (+13.1%) also both achieved double-digit growth. Growth in the US increased marginally, with an improved performance in cough & cold offset by continued weakness in gastrointestinals and dermatologicals. France and Australia (-0.7%) remained in decline – France owing to the poor performance of the large OTx sector and reverse switch of some cough ingredients, and Australia driven by a slowdown in demand from Chinese consumers buying VMS products for resale in China (daigou or ‘suitcase entrepreneurs’).”

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Though OTC growth remains high in many of the Emerging Markets, the established markets of North America, Japan (+0.6%) and western Europe – notably Germany (+1.8%), France (-1.2%), Italy (+2.0) and UK (+1.7%) – remain relatively flat. Innovative Rx-to-OTC switches, such as the UK MHRA’s recent approval of the POM-to-P reclassification of Viagra Connect, or the emergence of new OTC categories, such as e-cigarettes or medical cannabis, offer the most promising route back to growth for many of these established OTC markets.

Nicholas Hall said: “Q3 data confirms 4.6% as the baseline for CHC growth, and frankly it’s not good enough!! Only the sleepiest or most risk-averse companies will accept competing in a market where growth is only modestly ahead of inflation + higher population. That is why the first serious step by Pfizer to switch Viagra is so important. Since we made our first detailed review of the ED category for a Big Pharma client exactly 5 years ago, we have been convinced that Viagra is potentially the world’s largest consumer health brand. Some might say that it already is, although that would be true only for the use of the Viagra brand name on the internet as most of the blue pills sold in that channel are not from Pfizer. As a legitimate CHC category, and with recreational use included — which Big Pharma companies dislike as they see ED brands as treatments — the overall CHC reproductive health category, including ED brands, condoms, oral contraceptives, EHC and conception products and diagnostics, could easily reach sales of US$20bn at MSP in all channels of distribution.”

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Striving for Success in Latin America

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Though it still only accounts for a small share (just under 6%) of the global OTC market, Latin America remains by far the most dynamic region, with growth of 12% in the MAT Q2 2017 period. As the second-largest market in the region after Brazil, Mexico has seen its OTC growth accelerate in recent quarters thanks to rising consumer confidence throughout 2017, and its vibrant capital – Mexico City – was the venue for our 3rd Latin American Conference held last week.

Focusing on the theme, “Striving for Success in Latin America”, the conference was opened by Nicholas Hall and his annual keynote speech, highlighting key trends across the region – such as an increasing consumer preference for prevention, the widespread use of social media and a lack of regulatory improvement – and the impact these will have on the future of the industry.

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Summarising his speech in 9 key points, Nicholas Hall said: “We must manage our brands in a more effective way if we are to sustain the current rate of growth, bearing in mind that Latina will probably be a late adopter of many features of the New Paradigm, including digital marketing for CHC products:

  1. With the flood of new products each year, it is essential that our brands stand out in a sea of mediocrity, by clear positioning that demonstrates both new functional benefits and emotional benefits
  2. Most successful brands in Latina and globally are old brands — the CHC market is unique in rejecting new brands in favour of those that are tried and tested; we should search for hidden gems that can be dusted off and given a new lease of life
  3. There is a constant reference from all quarters to the need for more innovation and I agree!! The best strategy is to bolt on a new ingredient, with an improved positioning, to a famous and trusted brand name
  4. There are many opportunities in LatAm: we have conducted Gap Analyses in many countries, including Brazil and Mexico. We found lots of open gaps with unmet or only partially met demand, many in adjacent categories, as most launches are in the mainstream categories rather than emerging niches — please contact my colleague Ekaterina Panteleeva (ekaterina.panteleeva@NicholasHall.com) for more information on the way we conduct Gap Analysis
  5. TV is still the main medium, but not without problems of loss of viewers, so we should test-market more for optimum spend
  6. The retail sector is consolidating fast, yet we don’t engage with the big chains through modern Key Account Management programmes, and the concept of Category Captaincy is hardly known; not least we must work with the big chains to manage the inevitable growth of private label
  7. There has been much talk of liberalisation, but the regulations are still quite drastic and are preventing more Rx-to-OTC switches, especially in Brazil
  8. Overall, the region is growing well at 10% (constant currency) in the past 5 years and is forecast to grow by 8% in the next 5 years
  9. So let’s work hard to maintain double-digit growth. To misquote President Trump, “Let’s make CHC great again!”

Monica Feldman also provided an insightful regional overview, reminding us of the major differences between certain markets (such as mass market vs pharmacy sales) and the growing prevalence of digital health. Hector Bolanos and Juan Knobloch both emphasised the importance of lobbying government for an improved regulatory framework in Mexico, while Henry Adler discussed diversification strategies as a means of avoiding regulatory delays in Brazil.

Rodrigo Arcila drew attention to Colombia’s dynamic Rx-to-OTC switch environment and rapidly-advancing national health system, while the day’s final speaker, Anne Engerant, focused on how OTC companies can help combat wider public health issues, such as antibiotic resistance, and promote responsible self-medication. Day 1 closed with a panel discussion moderated by Monica Feldman: Roy Bateman and Maria Barros y Muradas debated the mid-term future of the industry, including digitalisation and the evolution of POS, before the floor was opened to questions.

This week, Nicholas is back in India for the 2017 Annual Conference in association with CubeX. As consumers exist in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous marketplace, we can say that today’s self-care landscape is a VUCA world, which is why this year’s theme is Consumer Healthcare in VUCA World. With seats still available, you can secure your place now by emailing conference@cubex.co.in

Nicholas Hall’s Latin American conference: Day 1

Our special correspondent Holly Parmenter reports back on Day 1 proceedings at Nicholas Hall & Company’s 2nd Latin America conference in Miami, Florida.

With the theme of From Recession to Recovery: Analysing Latin America’s Return to Growth, the conference opened with Nicholas Hall’s update and annual report. The annual report discussed the recent OTC successes, and the changes and challenges impacting consumer health. Nicholas Hall focused on fast-growing categories such as the success of intranasal allergy sprays, OTC contraceptives and the implication of switch for erectile dysfunction treatments.

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Key speakers of the day were Alonso Botero of Tecnoquimicas, who shared his views on the Colombian OTC market, explaining its monumental growth and how it has become the fifth fastest-growing country of the century.

Former General Manager of GSK Consumer Healthcare Brazil, Simone Torres Soares, gave a presentation on digital opportunities within OTC brand marketing and discussed how digital can impact our business model and change the OTC industry.

Ed Rowland, Founder and Managing Partner of Rowland Global LLC, covered the upside of devaluation and growth in Mexico stating that e-commerce is coming with a force, looking to drive growth in Mexico through social media in a 3-5 year timeframe.

Abbott Nutrition General Manager, Carlos Andrade, gave some perspective on the current economic crisis in Brazil, while also stating the country’s resilience.

Thorsten Umland, VP and Head, Business Development & Licensing Consumer Health, Bayer, concluded the presentations with a Global OTC M&A Landscape.

We will be bringing you a fuller, more in-depth report on proceedings in next week’s blog.

OTCs in Action Episode 64: Relieving Zika pain

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OTCs are in Action treating minor symptoms of the Zika virus, which has spread to 66 countries, according to the World Health Organization’s April 21 status report. In fact, the insect-borne disease has become so prevalent that OTC brands are investing in TV advertising detailing their benefits for symptom relief. For example, Nicholas Hall’s OTC INSIGHT Latin America reports this month: GSK’s A+P campaign in support of paracetamol-based Dolex systemic analgesic (known globally as Panadol) highlights its efficacy against symptoms of vector-borne viruses such as zika, chikungunya and dengue.

Nicholas Hall Events will host its 2nd Latin American OTC Conference, From Recession to Recovery: Analysing Latin America’s Return to Growth, on 9-10 June in Miami. Nicholas Hall will be joined by senior professionals with intimate knowledge of the local OTC environment, to offer delegates ways of navigating this dynamic yet unpredictable region.

Following the theme ‘From Recession to Recovery’, our speakers will analyse Latin America’s return to growth showcasing examples of local and global brands, highlighting ways in which they have found success in this region and what lessons can be learned. For more information, please click on the link:
Latin American OTC Conference: From Recession to Recovery

OTCs in Action Episode 49: Cholesterol targeted in Brazil; Fatigue fought in Italy

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OTCs in Action in Brazil and Italy help consumers fight high cholesterol and low energy with dietary supplements. Abbott’s phytosterol-based Duplostat lowers cholesterol when taken twice daily, coupled with the adoption of a healthy lifestyle. The 800mg softgel capsules help reduce the absorption of LDL-cholesterol from the third week, according to Abbott.

Additionally, when used in conjunction with statins, the efficacy in cholesterol reduction is the equivalent of doubling the statin dosage without any adverse affects. Research undertaken by the Ministry of Health (quoted by Abbott) indicates that around 35% of Brazilians aged 65 years or over are affected by high cholesterol.

For more new products from Latin America, click below:

Nicholas Hall’s OTC INSIGHT LATIN AMERICA, OCTOBER 2015

In Italy, Nestlé Health Science has served up Meritene Vitachoco, Swiss chocolate squares with 12 vitamins (including A, B6 and B12) and five minerals (including zinc and iron). The product is positioned to revitalise adults and older consumers in times of fatigue and stress, especially those with insufficient dietary intake.

For more new products from Europe, click below:

Nicholas Hall’s OTC INSIGHT EUROPE, OCTOBER 2015

OTCs in Action Episode 25: Switches empower European Women, Brazilians

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Women are empowered by OTCs this month as Nicholas Hall’s OTC.Newsflash reports that ellaOne (HRA Pharma, ulipristal acetate) emergency hormonal contraceptive became available without a prescription in France, the UK, Germany, Ireland and Poland, following the EU centralised switch in January 2015. At our recent Paris conference, Nicholas Hall & Company awarded ellaOne the Most Innovative European New Product of the Year.

In France, a survey by Harris Interactive found that, although 94% of French women aged 15-50 years are aware of EHC, 65% believe that they are misinformed on the subject, and 78% would like more information. However, ellaOne cannot be advertised, since under French regulations, it’s a “semi-ethical” drug that qualifies for partial insurance reimbursement when prescribed. Approved in mid-April, ellaOne will be promoted in France via a website, Facebook and Twitter.

Separately, effective 1st April 2015, ellaOne is available direct from pharmacies in the UK & Ireland without the need for a prescription. Alongside this move to pharmacy OTC status, the NHS and trade price of the emergency hormonal contraceptive is reduced from £16.95 (US$25.48) to £14.05 (US$21.12).

In Poland, Health Minister Bartosz Arlukowicz has signed a decree authorising the non-prescription sale of ellaOne, although this is limited to those aged 15+ years. Legislation came into force on 16th April 2015.

In related news, Brazil’s regulatory group, ANVISA, has proposed a new framework for Rx-to-OTC switch. Nicholas Hall’s Network Partner in Brazil, Henry Adler, explained: “ANVISA’s intention is to make sure that all products reclassified as OTCs are actually switched or lose their registration. And that applies to those products that are legally OTC but continue to be treated as if they are Rx or OTX. So, ANVISA is finally getting round to cleaning up the market: soon there will be Rx, OTCs, generics and equivalents. The aim appears to be to increase competition and keep prices low. In that way, the Ministry of Health will work towards its strategic objective of increasing the population’s access to medicines.

Currently, an OTC must be listed by therapeutic group and indication in the List of Groups & Specified Therapeutic Indications, which has not been updated since 2003. Open for Public Consultation until 15th June 2015, the proposed regulations include:

  • OTCs, their active principles and their indications will be defined by ANVISA according to the Guide to Therapeutic Classes of OTCs (GCTMIP)
  • To be considered for switch, medicines must have been sold for at least 10 years under prescription in Brazil, or OTC or Rx in countries whose regulatory agencies have a co-operation agreement with Brazil, and have demonstrated a high safety profile
  • Once approved, switched products must be dispensed by the pharmacist for 12 months
  • New medicines may come to market straight away as an OTC if they meet relevant safety requirements
  • ANVISA will update the GCTMIP periodically, but at least at yearly intervals. Companies marketing products that can be switched following changes in the GCTMIP have 180 days to reclassify them. If they fail to do so, their product registration will be cancelled.

Meanwhile, in the US, we await Pfizer’s decision on whether or not it will attempt to switch Lipitor (atorvastatin) from Rx-to-OTC. Last year the company conducted a clinical trial to determine the viability of the switch. Over the years, other marketers  have tried to pioneer the Rx-to-OTC switch of this class of drugs …. watch OTC.Newsflash and sister weekly bulletin OTC.NewDirections, which focuses on switch and science, for the latest news.

OTCs in Action Episode 11: Stigma, statutes and OTCs stub out smoking

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Q: What’s the difference between the 1960s and the 2000s?

A: In the 2000s, a guy goes into a chemist shop and shouts, “Give me a box of condoms!” … and then whispers to the shop assistant, “Oh, and slip in a packet of cigarettes, too.”

Although smoking is stigmatised in many countries in the new millennium, tobacco use still kills approximately 6mn people each year, according to the World Health Organization. It is the leading global cause of preventable death and OTC smoking cessation products can help people quit. This week, OTCs in Action takes a look at recent government initiatives to extinguish smoking – and spotlights nicotine replacement therapy* sales trends in those countries.

Brazil’s National Anti-Smoking Law will take effect this month, prohibiting smoking in enclosed spaces; banning the promotion of tobacco products and requiring warnings to cover a significant part of cigarette packs. Nicholas Hall’s Global OTC Database DB6 reports mid-year sales of NRTs increased by 14% to US$20mn (MAT June 2014) in Brazil.

China is considering raising cigarette prices and taxes and the State Council has issued a draft regulation to ban indoor smoking, limit outdoor smoking and end tobacco advertising. China has more than 300mn smokers and cigarettes are very inexpensive. OTC sales of NRTs increased by 8% to US$25mn.

France unveiled plans to require plain cigarette packaging, increase prices for tobacco and ban smoking in cars containing children. Although the Government more than doubled reimbursement rates for NRTs for those aged between 20 to 25, sales of OTC NRTs declined by 6% to US$82mn, owing to increased use of generics and rising use of e-cigarettes.

India announced that health warnings covering at least 85% of cigarette packs will be mandatory by April 2015. Sales of OTC smoking control products increased by 22% to US$12mn. The diminutive sales figure reflects that fact that most tobacco consumption in India is in the form of chewing tobacco and paan.

Russia’s ban on smoking in most public paces enacted in 2013 was extended to include transportation and leisure-oriented locations last summer. An estimated 40% of Russian adults smoked in 2011 and cigarette prices are among the cheapest in the world. Sales of OTC smoking control products were up by 38% to US$20mn in the mid-year results.

In the brilliant 2005 film, Thank You for Smoking, tobacco executive BR says: “We don’t sell Tic Tacs, we sell cigarettes. And they’re cool, available and *addictive*. The job is almost done for us.”

Maybe not so cool or available anymore.

For more info, Nicholas Hall’s OTC INSIGHT publications for Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America have just published market reports on the smoking control trends in their regions. http://www.insight.nicholashall.com

*Does not include e-cigarettes