Our blog this week takes a closer look at some of the trends & developments that emerged from the Q1 2018 OTC update on the Middle East & Africa. With growth of 6.7% in the year to end-March 2018, the region now generates nearly US$9.0bn in sales (a 6.5% share of the global OTC market) and outperformed all regions except Latin America.
Here are 4 key learnings from the latest Q1 update:
- South Africa’s OTC market broke through the US$1bn barrier in Q1. Now established as a Top 20 OTC market globally, South Africa generates sales of just over US$1.0bn following 8.6% growth in the MAT Q1 2018 period. OTC sales are forecast to total US$1.8bn by 2027, powered by demographic change (rising middle-class of consumers) and growing investment. Indian companies are showing strong interest, with Cipla now the No.7 OTC marketer in South Africa, while Dr Reddy’s and Lupin have announced plans to expand operations in the country.
- Turkey remains the powerhouse of regional OTC growth. Up 14% in the MAT Q1 2018 period, Turkey is fundamental to the rapid OTC progress of the region. Compared to South Africa, multinationals have a more prominent share of Turkey’s OTC market, with Abdi Ibrahim the only local company in the Top 5 – Bayer, Sanofi, GSK and RB are all Top 5 OTC marketers enjoying double-digit growth. The prospect of an official OTC classification in Turkey is encouraging MNCs to invest for future growth.
- Scope for VMS development in Middle East & Africa. One noticeable fact about OTC sales in the region is how heavily reliant the market is on the analgesics and CCA categories. The same is true for the No.1 OTC marketer GSK, which generates almost 80% of its portfolio turnover in the region from analgesics and CCA. Whereas VMS takes a 30.2% share of the global OTC market, it takes just a 26% share of the Middle East & Africa market, highlighting the need for more VMS product development and investment in education about lifestyle & wellness.
- Scope for Lifestyle OTCs development too. Compared to a global share of nearly 10% for Lifestyle OTCs, the category only takes an 8.6% share of Middle East & Africa’s OTC market. Eye care, sedatives & sleep aids and systemic cardiovasculars (low-dose aspirin) currently dominate in the region, while smoking control and EHC only have a small share compared to the global average. As the regulatory landscape evolves and becomes more favourable to OTC, we would expect to see more products making the transition from Rx to OTC status in the region.
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