Independent OTC Companies

Spotlight on Fast-Growing Independent OTC Companies

Unlike most of the large, traditional OTC players, small, independent OTC companies have recently recorded double-digit sales growth.  These companies often outpace market growth by offering unique brands, uncommon and often natural ingredients, focused distribution, and a strong online presence, frequently combined with compelling digital marketing that resonates with today’s OTC consumers.  Identifying these market disruptors and learning the factors that make them resonate with consumers and retailers is crucial. Continue reading

Strong cold and flu season drives OTC upper respiratory market up

Strong cold and flu season drives OTC upper respiratory market up

The second half of 2017 saw a significantly higher incidence of cold and flu which helped propel sales of OTC cold and sinus medications, cough syrups, cough drops, and nasal decongestants.  The OTC cold and sinus market grew 4.5% from 2016 to 2017, which is nearly three times the growth rate experienced in 2016.  Not only was the severity of the cold and flu season greater, but also the actual strains of flu experienced in 2017 mutated from the time the flu vaccines were developed and produced, making flu vaccines only about 15% effective.Continue reading

OTC Market Forces Impact Industry Growth

Internal and External OTC Market Forces Impact Industry Growth

The U.S. OTC market overall experienced 2.0% growth in 2017 with upper respiratory and topical products classes posting higher than average gains, according to Kline’s Nonprescription Drugs USA 2017 annual market study. “A strong cold and flu season in both Q1 and Q4 of 2017 drove the OTC cold and sinus market up 4.5% from 2016 levels,” says Laura Mahecha, Industry Manager for Kline’s Healthcare Practice. The topical products class posted 3.6% growth in 2017, driven by strong gains for OTC topical analgesics.Continue reading

Industry consolidation impacts OTC market

Consolidated U.S. OTC market sees leading players shift

The top six branded OTC marketers in the United States hold 37% of the total market, and many of these companies have grown as a result of consolidation and acquisitions over the past five years.

Bayer’s acquisition of Merck’s consumer health unit bolstered its position from #3 in 2011 to now being the #1 marketer in the United States. GlaxoSmithKline’s rank improved from #6 in 2011 to #3 in 2016 with the addition of Novartis’ OTC unit via a joint venture. Sanofi’s acquisition of Boehringer-Ingelheim’s consumer health unit helped it jump from #9 in 2011 to #6 in 2016. Continue reading

Consumers’ perception of sleep aids: OTCs, natural products, and devices

After significant gains in recent past, sales of OTC sleeping aids slow, but alternatives show promise

Findings from our upcoming Nonprescription Drugs USA study estimate that sales of OTC sleeping aids post 3.4% growth to reach $244 million at the factory level in 2016.

After seeing significant growth rates ranging from 50.0% to 15.0% per year in the recent past, the market for OTC sleeping aids is still growing, but at a much slower pace. ZzzQuil (Procter & Gamble), Unisom (Sanofi), and private-label sleeping aids posted growth while the rest of the market was flat or declining in 2016. Continue reading

U.S. OTC Market

Strong Gains for Select Brands and Companies Among U.S. OTC Market Softness in 2016

The U.S. OTC market posted 2.2% growth overall from 2015 to 2016, according to Kline’s venerable Nonprescription Drugs USA annual market assessment study. However, topical analgesics, nasal allergy medications, herbal products, and contraceptive products posted much higher rates of dollar sales growth. The calendar year of 2016 was marked as being a weak cold and flu season, which put a damper on sales of many OTC upper respiratory brands and market segments. However, in contrast, nasal allergy sprays grew by double digits, driven by growth of newer Rx-to-OTC switch brands, Flonase Allergy Relief (GlaxoSmithKline), and the addition of Rhinocort Allergy Spray by Johnson & Johnson to the market. This rapid uptake of nasal allergy sprays resulted in a small decline in sales of oral allergy medications. Continue reading

Rx-to-OTC Switches Energize Solid OTC Drug Market Growth

Rx-to-OTC Switches Energize Solid OTC Drug Market Growth

Rx-to-OTC switch brands continue to be major game changers within the OTC market, whether promoting strong gains or causing steep declines. Aided by the launch of Rx-to-OTC switch brand Allegra (Sanofi-Aventis) and strong growth of private labels, allergy relief products grew 16.3% in 2011 to become the fastest growing category on the U.S. OTC drug market, according to the Nonprescription Drugs USA 2011 report by international consulting and research firm Kline & Company. The U.S. OTC drug market posted a gain of 2.4% reaching $21.4 billion in 2011 at the manufacturers’ level.

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Rx-to-OTC Switch Forecasting Model

New Data Shows Plenty of Room for Innovators of All Sizes in OTC Market

The over-the-counter drug market is heating up as consumers turn increasingly toward self-medication in an effort to minimize out-of-pocket healthcare costs. With increasing competition from private-label products, blockbuster switches, and somewhat unconventional entries into the OTC drug business, new data reveals that while innovation doesn’t necessarily equate to superb business performance, there is plenty of room for players of all sizes and shapes in the nonprescription drugs market. More…Continue reading
Rx-to-OTC Switches

OTC Innovations Key to Ascending Above Price Comparisons and Private-Label Competition

Sales for the Mucinex line of OTC cold medications were $137 mn in 2007 and grew 35.0% to reach $185 mn in 2008.  Miralax is a novel Rx-to-OTC switch brand in the laxatives category and it grew from $40 mn in 2007, up 187.5% to $115 mn in 2008.  Both brands are supported with strong advertising budgets and offer truly unique treatment of colds and constipation than private-label products in their respective categories. Continue reading