Consumers have a wide array of products to choose from for the pain management of various conditions, including arthritis, headache, migraine, premenstrual pain, and back and joint pain. Pain management can be treated with several options, such as prescription drugs, OTC medications, natural supplements, rubs, and devices. Several favorable demographics, such as the aging population and growing number of consumers suffering from chronic diseases like arthritis and diabetes, add to the demand for pain management products.
Over-the-counter options include internal oral analgesics, such as aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium, and manufacturers sell nearly $3 billion worth of these medications each year. However, this mature market experiences relatively flat growth year-over-year. Topical analgesics account for a mere fraction of the size of oral analgesics and include forms such as creams, sprays, and patches, with strong growth of over 7% in 2015, according to Kline’s Nonprescription Drugs USA study.
An increase in the number of patients with arthritis, including osteoarthritis, has added to the burgeoning demand for novel OTC options. Innovative launches include new formats, such as fast-relief liquid gel formulations, which offer rapid onset of relief and are offered by Advil (Pfizer), Excedrin (GlaxoSmithKline), and Aleve (Bayer). The Excedrin brand is known as “the headache medicine” and offers Excedrin Tension Headache, as well as makes claims of treating migraines. However, there could be stronger medicines in the near future, known as triptans, available without a prescription for patients suffering from migraines.
Rx-to-OTC switches would be a game changer to the pain management medications market as makers of serotonin type 1-receptor agonists (triptans) evaluate the potential for these medications to be approved for use without a prescription. To understand what drugs and ingredients may eventually make their way to the OTC market, Kline’s Rx-to-OTC Switch Pipelines: Competitive Assessment provides a thorough overview of this category by profiling various companies engaged in marketing prescription triptans and other pain medications, including AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and Pfizer.
Topical analgesics continue to thrive with small brands including Blue-Emu (NFI Consumer Products), Australian Dream (Nature’s Health Connection), and Tiger Balm (Price of Peace) experiencing double-digit gains driven by expanded retail distribution. In addition, consumers often prefer using topical analgesics instead of or in addition to oral pain medications as they have fewer side effects than systemically absorbed oral medications. The leading topical analgesic brand Icy Hot (Sanofi) has extended the line to offer the Icy Hot TENS devices which offers consumers relief from pain using electronic stimulation sensors attached to a transdermal patch. Such products are profiled in Kline’s Pain Management Devices: Global Market Analysis and Opportunities study.
Natural OTC products for pain relief are also poised for growth, according to Kline’s Natural OTCs: Impact of Non-drug Products on the U.S. OTC Market. Arnica montana is a natural plant-based topical ingredient used for pain relief. Boosted by wider retail distribution into mainstream mass retailers and increased online sales, the Arnicare brand by Boiron experienced double-digit sales growth from 2014 to 2015 as aging baby boomers seek natural products to help with pain management. Curcumin, another natural ingredient derived from the spice turmeric, is seeing a surge in sales for its anti-inflammatory properties and help with pain management.
To learn more about the different pain management options, refer to Kline’s Healthcare market research reports. Focusing on key trends, developments, challenges, business opportunities, new product activity, and scenario forecasts, these reports will provide you with solid data and intelligent insights not found anywhere else.