Nicholas Hall’s 32nd European Conference Review

CHC Insight Europe Deputy Editor Nathalie Corbett has filed the following report of the highlights of Nicholas Hall’s 32nd European CHC Conference & CHC Training Academy Workshop, which took place from 4th to 6th May in Athens:

  • Although innovation is key to driving growth, there is too little of it; we have seen few large switches globally and it is difficult to be a switch pioneer.
  • We must aim to bring value to consumers and only innovate where we meet their needs. Success of the past is not a guarantee of success in the future.
  • Being a launch machine is not necessarily the way to grow and new launches do not always equal success; it is just as important to manage the assets we already have for long-term brand sustainability and growth.
  • Self-care can help alleviate the growing strain on healthcare services, but we must work hard to gain the trust of HCPs and convince them of the important role of preventive wellness solutions.
  • We need to move towards sustainable and robust healthcare systems, working collaboratively to enhance their resilience.
  • We live in a time of rapid change, with many forces disrupting the health & wellness landscape and shaping consumer demand; one of the key challenges in today’s industry is adapting to this new reality, which is crucial to keep pace, remain relevant and enable innovation.
  • Health is not a one-size-fits-all concept and it is important to know and understand the varied landscape and identify the ever-changing motivations & drivers of individual groups in order to meet their needs.
  • We need to address consumer health & wellness needs more holistically; personalisation remains a global megatrend and one that will continue to evolve. We are seeing a shift to more personalised and proactive care that empowers consumers to identify their needs, make informed choices and adopt healthier lifestyles.
  • Protection has moved to the fore of consumer consciousness amid the Covid-19 pandemic, with today’s consumer health-oriented, informed, connected, empowered and proactively searching for better health & wellness outcomes.
  • The pandemic has seen an explosion in e-Commerce and accelerated demand for DtC purchases, providing huge opportunities, but bringing with it responsibilities and risks.
  • Systems need to be in place to anticipate these risks, coupled with processes to mitigate them; safeguards, best practices and governance are key. Be mindful of your obligations before charging ahead with innovation.
  • Technology can help us gather and sort a large amount of disparate data, granting us insights to better understand consumer needs, predict consumer choices and enable innovation.
  • It is important to constantly review and respond to data as it changes fast: Gather, Learn and Act.
  • AI is forecast to be the most disruptive technology over the next 50 years, unlocking value of more than US$13tn across all industries. However, while AI can support the work of people, it cannot substitute it, so it is essential to integrate both into business models. Technology should aid innovation but not be the end goal, and consumers must always sit at the centre of strategy. 

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: My colleague Nathalie has written an excellent summary of the Athens meeting, with particular emphasis on the key word in the conference title, “Innovation”. And I wrote last week of the sense of joy among delegates, speakers and staff at being abroad – or just out of the office or home office – in the wide-wide world. I hope that this sentiment will be in evidence at next year’s meeting, which will take place in one of our favourite cities, London.

If you missed the chance to attend our 32nd European CHC Conference & CHC Training Academy Workshop in Athens last week, you can still purchase a recording of the event! View presentations from Nicholas and experts from companies including GSK, Menarini and Teva, who explore what is next for the CHC market landscape across the region. Please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com to purchase your copy.

Retail CHC growth accelerates to 4.8% in 2021

Below we look at the regional trends from the just published DB6 data on the performance of the global CHC market in 2021, showing how an upturn in Asia-Pacific helped global growth accelerate to 4.8% in the full-year period.

Europe (+3.3%) was the slowest growing region globally, although this does reflect an upturn vs 2020, thanks to robust growth in gastrointestinals (+6.1%) and a return to growth for cough, cold & allergy (+2.4%). Largest market Germany (-0.6%) saw its decline soften, while other Big 5 Western European markets rebounded to growth. Notably, Russia has fallen down the rankings from No.2 to No.4 in Europe, largely driven by devaluation of the Rouble, coupled with a flat year-end result (+1.8%)

Asia-Pacific (+5.6%) had a buoyant performance vs 2020, attributed to advances in largest market China (+6.9%) and a softening decline for No.2 ranked Japan (-1.2%), these markets have a combined share of almost 70% of total regional sales. Sales in China have rebounded somewhat, as harsh Covid restrictions generated a relatively weak 2020 comparator. Despite intermittent restrictions continuing, a relatively free environment has boosted sales across most major categories as consumers seek to remedy all ailments.

Americas (+4.9%) saw a slowdown vs 2020; the US market (+3.9%) has gained momentum throughout the year – finishing well, albeit slower than 2020 – thanks to a robust cough cold & allergy uptick (+6.5%) and notable increases in Lifestyle CHC (+10.8%) and gastrointestinals (+8.9%), more than offsetting the slowdown in VMS and decline in dermatologicals.

In Latin America, leading market Brazil (+11.7%) advanced thanks to double-digit increases in VMS (+16.2%), cough, cold & allergy (+11.6%) and Lifestyle CHC (+11%).

Only one month to go until our 32nd European CHC Conference & CHC Training Academy Workshop! Taking place in Athens on 4-6 May 2022, industry experts from GSK, J&J, Menarini, NielsenIQ and more will explore how as an industry we can move forward with CHC Innovation! Please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com to reserve your place.

Poland approves world-first OTC switch of tadalafil

We continue with the theme of Rx-to-OTC switch this week with news from Poland, where the Office for Registration of Medicinal Products, Medical Devices & Biocidal Products (URPL) has approved Adamed’s Tadalafil MaxOn ED treatment (tadalafil 10mg; film-coated tablets; 2- and 4-count SKUs) as an OTC medicine, effective 1st February 2022. This will join Adamed’s sildenafil options MaxOn Active (25mg) and MaxOn Forte (50mg), which launched in May 2016 and April 2020, respectively. Tadalafil is claimed to get to work within 30 minutes for up to 36 hours, vs claims for sildenafil that it works within 30-60 minutes for up to five hours.

Poland was again one of the most active Rx-to-OTC switch markets in 2021, with only China ahead of it last year in terms of number of launched products reclassified from prescription to OTC status. Three of the six products launched post-switch in Poland in 2021 were erectile dysfunction treatments, including Hasco-Lek’s Mensil Max, Aflofarm’s Inventum Max and Polpharma’s Maxigra Max (all sildenafil 50mg). In addition, there were two digestive health switches – Teva’s antidiarrhoeal Gastrolit and Polpharma’s antacid Famotydyna Ranigast – and Polpharma’s cold sore treatment Heviran Comfort Max.

Source: Nicholas Hall’s CHC New Products Tracker

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: Last week our lead story was the likely switch of HRT in the UK, which we singled out as a pioneer. The latest news this week is from Poland, another switch centre of excellence and where the ED treatment tadalafil will be available in a non-prescription version for the first time anywhere in the world. Tadalafil was launched as a prescription medicine under the trademark Cialis, and Sanofi later acquired the CHC rights from Lilly, but the switch application in the USA has been held up for many years by the FDA.

My colleague Maryna Marriott of the CHC Insight Europe team tells me: “Poland continues to lead the way in switch innovation. The tadalafil approval follows a number of sildenafil 25mg and 50mg switches, with the Polish ED category totalling US$27.7mn in MAT Q3 2021, according to DB6, an increase of 28.5% vs the year-ago period. Men’s health clearly remains high on the consumer health agenda, and it seems likely a number of other tadalafil switches will follow in Poland.”

Switch is an expensive process in the USA, which is why it is subdued there at present. On the other hand, there has been renewed switch activity in Europe and parts of Asia. The problem for the CHC industry has always been that the benefits given to US companies gaining switch status – the cost to the patient-as-consumer drops substantially and there is often three years marketing exclusivity, whereas the ingredient can no longer be prescribed for the same indication – are not available to marketers in the rest of the world. That leads to the curious situation of some switches being regulatory wins but commercial failures. Let’s hope that Adamed is blessed with decent sales for its latest innovation.

Find solutions for success in this competitive CHC landscape with Nicholas and the team in Athens on 4-6 May 2022 for our 32nd European CHC Conference & Action Workshop! Meet with peers and hear from industry experts, including sessions from Bayer, Teva, J&J and many others face-to-face! For more information, or to reserve your seat, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

Macro Trends: Economic & Demographic Outlook

In this week’s blog, we look at two recent reports on macro trends that will have a future impact on the consumer healthcare market. The first looks at short-term economic trends and the second longer-term demographic trends.

Last week the International Monetary Fund has revised down its forecast for global economic growth in 2021 to slightly below its July 2021 forecast of 6%. At a virtual G20 event, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said: “The most immediate obstacle is the ‘great vaccination divide’ – too many countries with too little access to vaccines, leaving too many people unprotected. At the same time, countries remain deeply divided in their ability to respond – in being able to support the recovery, and in their ability to invest for the future.”

“We face a global recovery that remains ‘hobbled’ by the pandemic and its impact. We are unable to walk forward properly — it is like walking with stones in our shoes.” Three of the most painful stones are divergence in economic growth, inflation and global public debt. As the chart below indicates, the sectors currently facing the largest inflationary pressures include transportation and food, whereas prices in the health sector remain stable.

As for demographic trends, according to a report in The Times newspaper last week there will be more Nigerians than Europeans in 60 years’ time. Some two-thirds of Africans are aged under-25 years (in Senegal the average age is 19 years) and many capitals and cities on the continent are unable to cope with this “youthquake”, with no time or money to build the basic infrastructure, often coupled with a high cost of living. While this youthful energy could be a good thing, the lack of opportunities – coupled with climate migration – is driving many of the younger generation to leave Africa, with Europe becoming a spill over zone.

Nicholas Hall Writes: “Many of these new consumers will rapidly become empowered, and although it is not a factor that will influence next year’s P&L, sensible companies will start to plan for much larger immigrant communities, which will have very determined views on the CHC products they buy (and anyone who doubts this has only to take a look at the very specialised products sold to the Hispanic community in North America by companies like Genomma). Indeed, some of these populations will be made up of ‘illegals’, who will not sign up to see community physicians and for whom CHC will be primary care and possibly much more. And for that, I fear, we are not at all prepared as countries or an industry.

You can save up to GB£2,500 when you pre-order our forthcoming Hot Topic report, Sexual Health & Fertility! This title will delve into key topics, such as home diagnostics, intimate care, ED and many others, as well as tracking NPD and Rx-to-OTC switch activity, plus much more. To pre-order your copy, or for further details, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

MAT Q2 2021: Global CHC Market Trends

The latest update from Nicholas Hall’s CHC database DB6 indicates that in MAT Q2 2021, the retail (bricks & mortar) CHC market returned to growth following a decline in the previous reporting period – the first seen since DB6 records began. Overall global CHC sales were up 1.7% to US$151bn.

In terms of performance by geography, the Americas returned to positive growth (+1.3%), with a flat performance in North America bolstered by LatAm markets, including double-digit growth in Brazil (+10.6%). USA remains the clear No.1 CHC market globally, and grew modestly (+0.2%).

Asia-Pacific was the best performing region (+4.8%); while it continues to be impacted by loss of revenue from overseas visitors in key markets Japan (-4.0%) and Australia (-5.5%), high single-digit increases in China and India helped to lift the topline.

Source: Nicholas Hall’s global CHC sales database DB6 (all values at MSP).

Europe continues to decline (-2.0%), still heavily impacted by retraction in CCA and analgesics in Western Europe in particular. Key markets Germany (-8.5%) and UK (-10.8%) fell significantly, although this was partly offset by a positive trend in C&E Europe (+3.6%), with Russia maintaining mid-single digit increase (+4.1%) and Poland returning to growth after a decline in the previous reporting period.

Nicholas Hall Writes: “In 2020 we saw the market grow across the board during the first half, ease back in the second half, perform very badly in Q1 this year and return to growth in Q2. Is this a trend? Is it as simple as drawing the line forward to the point where we regain the pre-pandemic 3.7% retail sector growth rate? We all have our own point of view, but it would be a brave soul prepared to make a firm prediction. So in the best tradition of being a thrusting brand manager, I’m going to hedge my bets until I see the Q3 figures from DB6.

We are pleased to announce that Nicholas Hall’s DB6 mid-year update for 2021 is now available! Subscribers can access over 150,000 pieces of data, with more than 30,000 records covering 13,000+ brands and 3,000 companies across 63 countries. To find out more or to set up a free demo, please contact kate.holdcroft@NicholasHall.com.

MAT Q1 2021: Global CHC sales fall 0.6%

According to Nicholas Hall’s global sales database DB6, the retail (bricks & mortar) CHC market generated global sales of US$148bn, down by -0.6% versus a year ago. Further heavy decline for cough, cold & allergy (-14.5%), especially in North America and Western Europe, was largely responsible for the global fall in CHC sales. The Americas declined by -0.4%, driven by a -1.9% fall in North America, but slightly offset by a positive performance by LatAm markets (+8.5%), notably double-digit growth in Brazil (+10.6%).

Asia remained relatively weak (+2.6%); despite strong growth in China (+7.1%), the region continues to be impacted by loss of revenue from overseas visitors in key markets Japan (-9.1%) and Australia (-8.0%). Europe saw a significant downturn (-5.5%), heavily impacted by declines in CCA and analgesics in Western Europe. Key markets Germany (-13.3%) and UK (-13.9%) fell by double-digits during the MAT Q1 2021 period. In C&E Europe, meanwhile, Russia continued to post a positive performance (+4.1%), albeit at a slower rate than year-end.

As for global performance by major category, vitamins, minerals & supplements (+5.3%) remained the fastest-growing category – albeit at a slower rate than year-end 2020 – with immune-associated categories continuing to benefit from greater consumer focus on wellness maintenance and protection. Dermatologicals increased by +4.5%, its buoyancy largely attributed to the performance of antiseptics & disinfectants (+53.1%) during the pandemic. Lifestyle CHC grew by +2.4%, driven by double-digit increases in sedatives & sleep aids (+14.5%) as well as smaller categories such as obesity treatments, emergency hormonal contraception and erectile dysfunction.

Gastrointestinals returned a low level increase (+1.2%), while analgesics saw a decline of -1.8% globally, with systemics down -4.3%, largely owing to the effects of pantry loading at the start of the pandemic. Cough, cold & allergy saw the strongest decline, with sales falling by -14.5% in the 12 months to end March. Pantry loading, as well as the effects of lockdown restrictions, social distancing, mask wearing and hygiene measures resulted in significantly reduced incidence of respiratory pathologies.

At a time when consumers are highly aware of the importance of maintaining their immune system, we are pleased to announce that Immunity will be the focus of our next hot topic report! We will review a number of categories including antivirals, immune supplements and vitamins C & D and explore the latest launch activity, plus much more. To pre-order your copy and save with the pre-publication discount, or to find out more, please contact Melissa.Lee@NicholasHall.com.

Stada Health Report 2021

According to the third Stada Health Report, a representative survey of 30,000 participants in 15 European countries, 29% have suffered from increased levels of anxiety during the pandemic, while 25% are troubled by stress and inner restlessness and 15% have reported sleep disturbances. Some 52% of respondents are more affected by the lack of personal contact with family & friends than fear of Covid infection (42%), while almost 1 in 3 worries about the financial and work-related repercussions.

However, 70% of Europeans have been willing to invest more in their own health. For 73%, their doctor is the first point of call for all health-related issues, with pharmacists and scientists also highly trusted (60% each). Despite a 14 percentage-point increase in people purchasing medication online, 43% stay loyal to community pharmacies, 13% of which specifically single out their local branch. Europeans care more about brand names and what is associated with them (38%) rather than sustainable & environmentally-friendly packaging (25%) or whether a product was made in Europe (20%).

In the report, Stada asks the question, “With an increased interest in and an aspiration to healthy living, how did people in Europe procure information on these topics? The short answer is: The internet. 54% of Europeans have increased their online searches for health-related information compared to previous years.” However, this spike in online health searches and literacy has not automatically translated into European consumers looking to bypass their pharmacist when acquiring medication, or information about it. According to Stada’s survey, only 14% of Europeans have ordered more OTC medicines via online pharmacies post-pandemic, and 43% flat out refuse to order them online at all. Despite the ever increasing number of e-Commerce platforms and other channels for obtaining medicines online, community pharmacies are still Europe’s first choice for OTCs.

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: The Stada report quoted above is further evidence that increased levels of stress and anxiety, and disrupted sleep, are by-products of Covid. Insomnia was already considered a pandemic in the Western world by the World Health Organization; and sleep, stress and mood have joined immunity and disinfection as categories with rocketing sales in the past two years … The theme continues in the latest Gallup survey, which notes the high incidence of “worry, stress, anger and sadness among employees worldwide”. It seems that substantial numbers of office workers are refusing to go back to work in the traditional way and are insisting on continuing to work from home … This localisation of labour will almost certainly change our concept of shopping and could benefit independent neighbourhood pharmacies, giving a whole new meaning to the concept of Pharmacy Point-of-Care. It’s too soon to draw definite conclusions, but consumer healthcare companies would do well to re-examine their sales force objectives. One of the most successful modules of the CHC Training Academy is “Winning in Pharmacy”, and I can see this being even more popular as we come out of the Covid lockdown.

To find out more about Winning in Pharmacy, or the offerings from The CHC Training Academy, please contact maricar.montero@NicholasHall.com. The CHC Training Academy can also work with you to develop your own in-house customised training programmes according to your specific strategic needs.

European e-Conference report 2021

In this week’s blog, we highlight the key takeaways from our recent European e-Conference and take a closer look at one of the slides from Nicholas Hall’s Global Trends presentation, looking at the fastest-growing brands in consumer healthcare over the past five years.

Nicholas Hall Writes: 100 delegates from around the world joined us in late April for our first-ever e-Conference, and many more are expected to listen to the recording. The conference reviewed global and European trends in the consumer healthcare market, the impact of Covid, changing consumer attitudes and the omnichannel shopper journey, the digital revolution and our forecasts for the future. These and many other topics were covered under the banner of “A Glimpse into the New Normal”.

There is no denying that “immunity” is the biggest buzzword in consumer healthcare at the moment, and has produced some amazing results. We’ve just completed an analysis of the new DB6 data, looking at the fastest-growing brands over the past five years. Just to be clear, this is drawn from the 200 biggest brands and excludes those specifically from China, which are very largely formulated with traditional Chinese medicine. Sambucol, a brand I love dearly and have used for 20 years, shows up as the second fastest growing brand. Only Biofreeze (to be acquired by Reckitt in a deal expected to complete in Q2 2021) has grown faster during this period.

Source: Nicholas Hall’s DB6 database. All values US$mn at MSP.

CHC Insight Europe Editor Sarah Carter and Researcher / Writer Nathalie Corbett filed this report summarising various highlights from our European e-Conference:

  • There is an increased consumer focus on prevention, not just in terms of avoiding Covid-19, but also awareness that people with better overall health have better lifestyle outcomes. Many consumers are no longer looking for treatment, but instead seek to safeguard their future health.
  • During the pandemic, the health consumer has evolved from patient to “consum’actor”, who uses their purchasing power to protect the values and causes they believe in.
  • The consumer is in control of our industry and we need to deliver on their expectations. The best medicine is a consumer who is informed, empowered and inspired.
  • The way consumers shop has been severely disrupted and perhaps irrevocably altered by the pandemic. The CHC industry must respond with agility in order to successfully compete in this omnichannel landscape.
  • Consumers cross these different channels in a way that’s seamless, with lines blurring between communication, point of purchase, advertising, etc.
  • It’s all about the data – get this data culture deeply embedded at all levels of your organisation. It’s also about the right data, and not being inundated with data that isn’t useful. Identify the relevant KPIs and target those.
  • Tech and Big Data can help us gather insights and use these to deliver relevant business developments and product innovations. Consumers themselves are increasingly generating a wealth of data, including via self-monitoring devices.
  • Online can offer opportunities that offline cannot, even when it comes to personal advice. Digital interactions are sometimes preferable vs crowded stores / time constraints.
  • But pharmacies still account for 76% of purchases, and have a superb chance to fight back and regain market share provided they collect new insights into their customers’ shopping journeys.
  • We should no longer refer to e-commerce, but rather e-life. Platforms like Amazon are increasingly media hubs rather than just online stores.
  • Brand building is more important than ever as consumers adapt to the New Normal. We must be present and relevant and focus on creating an emotional bond with the consumer, a traditionally weak area.
  • There can be no return to old strategies and the old way of doing business. It is time for new strategies and New Paradigms.

We hope you enjoyed our European e-Conference 2021! If you couldn’t attend, you can still purchase a recording of the meeting by contacting elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.comImmunity & other Growth Drivers will be the focus of our next round of regional hot topic webinars. Starting with a focus on Asia-Pacific on 19 May, on the Americas on 23 June and concluding with Europe on 21 July. Please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com to find out more.

Nasal sanitisers niche opens up post-Covid

One of the fast-emerging OTC niches in the CCA category is oral & nasal sanitisers, with several notable innovations in 2020 and 2021, including two more nasal sanitiser launches announced recently.

Australian-based Starpharma’s Viraleze nasal spray will become available online in the UK this week ahead of a retail rollout in April 2021, under an exclusive sales & distribution agreement with the retail chain, LloydsPharmacy (McKesson). This will be the product’s first appearance in Europe, although a regional launch is expected soon following its registration in the European Economic Area in February.

Comment from CHC Insight Managing Editor, Chris Allan: Viraleze contains the same antiviral ingredient (SPL7013 / astodrimer sodium) that features in Starpharma’s VivaGel products. Its powerful claim to deactivate “>99.9% of Sars-CoV-2 within one minute” is likely to attract wider media interest given the continuing national focus on the pandemic, and LloydsPharmacy has committed to “significant” marketing investment.

Separately, in Israel, SaNOtize has received interim approval to sell its nitric oxide nasal spray (NONS) in pharmacies. NONS protects users from viruses that enter the body through the upper nasal pathways. Local manufacturing under the brand name Enovid has begun in partnership with Nextar Chempharma Solutions and the spray is expected to appear on pharmacy shelves by the summer.

Meanwhile, in New Zealand the Ministry of Health denied claims by the Canadian-based biotech company that Enovid had been cleared for immediate OTC sale. Newshub quotes a MoH spokesperson: “Based on the therapeutic claims made for the product, its claimed mode of action and the nitric oxide ingredient, Enovid nasal spray would be a prescription medicine under New Zealand law (Medicines Act 1981) … Medsafe has received no applications for approval of this product for sale, supply or use in New Zealand.”

Comment: SaNOtize and Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in the UK recently announced results of clinical trials indicating that NONS represents a safe and effective antiviral treatment that could prevent the transmission of Covid-19, shorten its course and reduce the severity of symptoms and damage in those already infected.

Oral & nasal sanitisers is one of the delivery formats trends covered in our new Innovation in CHC 2021: NPD & Launch Activity under the Spotlight report. Seize the last chance to save GB£1,350 when you pre-order this forthcoming report before 31st March. To review the table of contents or pre-order your copy, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com

CBD industry revving up again in 2021

2020 was a tough year for the CBD industry, with Covid causing disruptions to supply chains as well as lower footfall in bricks & mortar retailers, and these setbacks were reflected in greater hesitancy from CBD marketers in terms of NPD activity – according to our CHC New Products Tracker service – with launch activity in 2020 much lower compared to 2019. However, recent regulatory developments in Australia and Mexico, and the uptick in M&A activity in the CBD industry over recent weeks, suggest 2021 will see a revival in NPD activity and sales.

For example, Curaleaf, a leading US provider of consumer cannabis products, last week signed a definitive agreement to acquire EMMAC, the largest vertically-integrated independent cannabis company in Europe, for around US$286mn. Curaleaf Executive Chairman, Boris Jordan, commented: “[This acquisition] provides an advanced base to reach scale within the nascent European cannabis market and transform Curaleaf into a truly international cannabis consumer packaged goods company. The consumer and political liberalisation trends around cannabis that are sweeping USA are also increasingly taking hold in Europe … The European cannabis market has the potential to exceed the US cannabis market over the long-term and will help fuel our growth for years to come.”

In addition, a wholly-owned subsidiary of British American Tobacco last week subscribed for around 58.3mn common shares – a 19.9% equity interest – of Organigram, a leading licensed cannabis producer, for C$221mn (US$176mn). The companies have also entered into a Product Development Collaboration Agreement, under which a Centre of Excellence will be established to focus on developing the next generation of cannabis products, with an initial focus on CBD. “The cannabis industry is still in the nascent stages of product development. We believe that product innovation backed by core fundamental R&D is necessary to establish a long-term competitive advantage in the cannabis industry,” said Organigram Chief Strategic Officer Paolo De Luca.

Another M&A CBD development from last week was MediPharm, a research-driven global leader in cannabis extraction, entering into a GMP white-label supply and contract manufacturing agreement with Cannim. The company has also commenced registrations for the launch of next-generation OTC products in Australia in 2021. Under the 3-year agreement, with options to extend, MediPharm will supply a full range of specially-formulated CBD and THC cannabis oil products, sold initially under Cannim’s Lumir brand. MediPharm will also provide Cannim with contract manufacturing options.

Finally, a bill that would legalise the recreational use of cannabis was approved in Mexico’s lower house of Congress last week and will move to the Senate for final approval. The legislation would enable users aged 18+ years with a permit to carry up to 28g of cannabis and grow up to eight plants at home for personal use. President Andres Manuel Lopez has argued that the bill could help to curb Mexico’s violent and powerful drug cartels. John Walsh, Director of Drug Policy for the Washington Office on Latin America, a US advocacy group, said: “Mexico, given its size and its worldwide reputation for being damaged by the drug war, to take this step is enormously significant. North America is heading towards legalisation.” Canada and Uruguay are the only countries in the world to have legalised cannabis for recreational use. With its liberal switch environment, Mexico could be an early adopter of OTC cannabis, possibly the second or third market after Australia.

Discover who the main CBD players are, and how big the market could get in our recent report, CBD 2020: The 20 Most Important Questions about CBD in the Future of CHC. To find out more, or to order your copy, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.