Seasoned OTC executives drive growth at independent OTC companies

With the recent OTC industry consolidation and mergers, many seasoned executives have left large OTC companies and moved on to smaller, independent companies where their past experience brings success in a nimbler environment, focused on specific brands and categories. Based on primary research for our soon-to-be published report, OTC Indies: U.S. Analysis of Independent OTC Companies, there are several examples of seasoned OTC executives driving growth at small, independent companies.

Hisamitsu Pharmaceuticals USA, the U.S. division of the Japanese parent company, markets Salonpas topical analgesic brand. The U.S. operation is led by John Incledon who brings 23 years of experience from Wyeth Consumer Healthcare where he was responsible for the company’s pain franchise, including Thermacare pain patches and Advil analgesics. Hisamitsu has had strong success recently driven by strong line extensions, new product launches backed by multi-pronged marketing, including digital and television advertising, celebrity endorsements, and distribution across most mass retail channels. The Salonpas brand has considerable penetration in the dollar stores channel, including Dollar General and Family Dollar. Sales for the company were up nearly 20% in 2018.

Foundation Consumer Healthcare is a newer company formed through financing by two established private equity funds—Juggernaut Capital Partners and Kelso & Co. The company markets Plan B One-Step emergency contraceptive brands and value brands in the same category, Take Action, Aftera, and Next Choice, which were acquired from Teva Pharmaceuticals in 2017. Foundation Consumer Healthcare also markets St. Joseph’s aspirin, Bronkaid asthma treatment, Neo-Synephrine nasal decongestant, Campho-Phenique cold sore treatment, and Theravent snore strips. The President and CEO is Greg Bradley who brings nearly 34 years of experience in the consumer-packaged goods industry and many years of experience in OTC development, marketing, and commercialization. Bradley spent much of his career with GlaxoSmithKline where he led multiple Rx-to-OTC switches and, in 2011, Bradley founded Advantage Consumer Healthcare, a full-service company specializing in OTC switches and healthcare product launches. Foundation Consumer Healthcare continues to work with Advantage Consumer Healthcare as the company’s OTC selling team. Sales for Foundation Consumer Healthcare’s OTC brands were up nearly 10.0% in 2018.

Avrio Health is a newly formed OTC company, which spun off from Purdue Pharma and is now independently operated. “Avrio” means future in Greek, so Avrio Health represents the “future of health.” This company markets the Colace and Senokot laxatives, Betadine first aid products, and Slow Mag Mg dietary supplement and is seeking additional OTC brand acquisitions. The company is managed by Carrie Chomiak who joined Purdue Pharma after more than 15 years of experience with Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, where she served as a member of the U.S. executive leadership team and led the U.S. digestive health franchise, which included the Nexium 24HR switch from Rx-to-OTC status and the commercial management of the Preparation H hemorrhoidal preparations brand. During her tenure at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, Chomiak also held commercial leadership roles within the nutrition, respiratory, pain, and personal care franchises, which included brands such as Centrum, Caltrate, Advil, Emergen-C, Robitussin, Dimetapp, and Chapstick. Avrio Health’s sales grew over 5.0% in 2018.

OTC Indies: U.S. Analysis of Independent OTC Companies will provide in-depth profiles of 70 independent companies to help cast a wide net and identify companies or brands that could be acquisition opportunities, understand which independent OTC brand innovations and marketing strategies have been successful and why, gain a source of valuable competitive information and insights, and analyze compelling digital marketing successfully used by smaller companies and brands. This study is based on extensive primary research with large and small OTC marketers and retailers, with a focus on digital marketing strategies. The brands and categories covered span the whole OTC continuum, including cough and cold products, digestive health, dietary supplements, analgesics, and topical products. The report will be published in Q2 2019. To learn more, contact us.

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