Hologic Survey: Women’s Health Worsened in 2021

The 2021 Hologic Global Women’s Health Index, a survey of almost 127,000 women and men in 122 countries, shows that health situations for women did not improve in the second year of the pandemic and many worsened. Hologic launched the survey in 2020 in partnership with Gallup to assess how female health & wellbeing needs were being met.

Preventive care, which is still inaccessible to many women, remains the weakest of all health dimensions: some 60% of women in 2021 (equating to a population greater than 1.5bn) reported that they were not tested for four of the most frequent, fast-growing, and / or deadly conditions globally: just 12% of women were tested for any type of cancer, 34% for high blood pressure, 19% for diabetes and 11% for STDs / STIs. Emotional health is also a key dimension, with a growing body of evidence that it can affect cardiovascular health and other physical health risk factors.

Source: Hologic Global Women’s Health Index report

Nicholas Hall Writes: It’s a sad fact that women were more stressed, worried, angry and sad in 2021 than at any other point in the past decade, according to this insightful survey, with 43% of the sample claiming to have experienced worry and 41% stress during much of the day before the survey was conducted.

The Hologic Chairman, Stephen MacMillan, commented: “No matter what pandemics, wars or other crises roil our societies, we must commit ourselves to improving the health of women, because they form the backbone of our families, communities and societies.” That is so true! Yet looking through the narrower lens of consumer health, we offer very few specialist products for women beyond feminine intimate health.

Log on to hear from Nicholas and experts from Bayer, Havas Health and more at our Asia-Pacific e-Conference on 23 November! You can expect insights into sustainability, the Go-To-Market model and self-care collaborations. This online event will also include the presentation of our Regional CHC Creative Marketing Award. For more information, or to register, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

Global CHC market +2.6% in MAT Q3 2021

The latest update from Nicholas Hall’s CHC database, DB6, shows that in MAT Q3 2021, the store retail CHC market advanced by 2.6%, a continued improvement over results seen throughout the year (vs -0.6% and +1.7% for MAT Q1 and Q2 respectively).

  • Vitamins, Minerals & Supplements (+6.1%) maintains its position as the fastest-growing category, albeit at a slightly slower rate. Stabilising immune-associated segments still contribute to a healthy topline performance as consumers continue to bolster natural defences; this, coupled with improvements in other subcategories (notably a return to growth for probiotics) has helped to keep the largest major category buoyant
  • Lifestyle CHC growth advanced to +5.9%, with eye care — the largest subcategory — returning a mid-single digit increase (+5.4%); this, alongside sustained double-digit increases in sedatives & sleep aids (+13.8%), as well as smaller categories such as emergency hormonal contraception and erectile dysfunction, boosted the topline
  • Gastrointestinals growth improved (+5.2%) with all subcategories once again seeing an upturn over the previous reporting period — a return to some “normalisation of life” (travel, dining out, etc.) has helped the wider category advance
  • Analgesics saw a further improvement overall (+3.6%) boosted by systemics returning to growth (+1.9%) after successive negative results, as well as consistent gains in topical formats (+7.2%)
  • Dermatologicals slowed further to +0.6% (vs +3.9% MAT Q2 21), a trend heavily impacted by the performance of antiseptics & disinfectants — the subcategory now declining by 9.8% following high growth levels seen in the peak of the pandemic
  • Cough, Cold & Allergy remains negative, with sales retracting by 5.3% in the 12 months to end-Sept 21. However, the macro trend continues to improve over the previous reporting periods (-14.5% and -9.7% for MAT Q1 and Q2 respectively) as incidence of typical seasonal pathologies rises vs a low comparator in 2020, with many players reporting improvements in quarterly terms

In terms of geographies:

  • Americas advanced by 2.4% (vs +1.3% MAT Q2 21) – N America now displaying a positive trend with continued improvements in USA & Canada. LatAm markets remain strong, with another double-digit result in Brazil (+12.1%), the most robust of the Top 20 markets
  • Asia held on to mid-level growth (+4.8%) in the reporting period; while the region continues to be impacted by loss of revenue from overseas visitors in key markets Japan (-2.1%) and Australia (-2.9%), steady single-digit increases in China and India helped to maintain the topline
  • Europe’s performance has flattened; Western European markets are improving (-2.0% vs -4.4% MAT Q2 21), impacted by the analgesics growth trend returning to positive, plus a softening decline for CCA over the previous reporting period. CEE markets advanced further, aided by mid-single-digit gains in Poland (+4.8%)

Nicholas Hall commented: Good news! My colleague Kayleigh Griffin-Hooper tells me that the latest DB6 data show that the store retail CHC market continued on a path to recovery in the 12 months to end-September. Broadly speaking, the majority of markets are returning to slightly stronger growth – or softer declines – compared to MAT Q2. Trends remain heavily influenced by the impact of Covid-19 across several healthcare segments – both positively and negatively – resulting in low level advances on a global level.

In three months’ time, when we have sales data for the Internet channel, it will be interesting to see whether this high-growth sector fully balances the softness in store retail sales.

We are pleased to announce that Nicholas Hall’s DB6 MAT Q3 2021 update 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.

WHO highlights shortage of innovative antibiotics

The world is still failing to develop desperately-needed antibacterial treatments, despite the urgent threat of antibiotic resistance, according to a World Health Organisation report. None of the 43 antibiotics in clinical development sufficiently address drug resistance in the most dangerous bacteria. The majority offer limited clinical benefit over existing treatments, while 82% of recently-approved antibiotics are derivatives of older products with well-established drug-resistance.

WHO highlights 27 non-traditional antibacterial agents, ranging from antibodies to bacteriophages, and therapies that support the patient’s immune response and weaken the bacteria’s effect. However, while there are some promising products in development, only a fraction will make it to the market, owing to economic and scientific challenges. The low return on investment from successful products has limited the interest of major private investors and most large pharma players, and the small to medium-sized companies driving the pipeline often struggle to finance their products through to regulatory approval. 

Source: World Health Organization

Nicholas Hall Writes: “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water (to quote the movie “Jaws”), the World Health Organisation reminds us that there could be more and worse to come. The worldwide pharma industry has responded magnificently to Covid, and if a fraction of that effort went into the search for new antibiotics, we could perhaps avoid the next and possibly much worse pandemic, when superbugs attack mankind. I’m not referring to hacking from within the Dark Web, but bacteria for which existing antibiotics will be unable to cope! One medical expert has described this as making Covid look like a vicarage tea party!

To quote WHO: “Opportunities emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic must be seized to bring to the forefront the needs for sustainable investments in R&D of new and effective antibiotics … We need a global sustained effort including mechanisms for pooled funding and new and additional investments to meet the magnitude of the AMR (antimicrobial resistance) threat.” So I hope that Big Pharma will recycle the windfall from Covid vaccines into new antibiotic research, otherwise we will have many more years of lockdown!”

Immunity will be the focus of our next round of regional hot topic webinars, starting with a focus on Asia-Pacific on 19 May, followed by the Americas on 23 June and Europe on 21 July. Please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com to find out more about these upcoming sessions.