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Bright future for global OTC Healthcare

来源:时间:2015年01月07日

Ageing populations in the developed world, an increasing willingness to self-medicate in developing regions, such as Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe and a growing concern with personal appearance, are just three of the key trends helping to make the future look bright for the global OTC industry, according to a new report by Euromonitor International.

Ageing populations seek to increase quality of life

As life expectancy rises in both developed regions such as North America and emerging markets such as China and India, older consumers are increasingly suffering from an array of age-related ailments. Governments and health-insurance companies have proved unable and unprepared to incur the prohibitive cost of treating these ailments. As a result, between 1998 and 2003, governments across the globe embarked on a phase of medical deregulation, leading to many formerly Rx medicines being switched to OTC, thereby encouraging a habit of self-medication among consumers.


Kathrin Jungbeck, OTC Healthcare Analyst at Euromonitor International, says, "Ageing consumers are looking to do all they can to help avoid age-related illnesses such as arthritis, osteoporosis and prostate problems. Many see vitamins and dietary supplements as the answer. Not surprisingly therefore, vitamins and dietary supplements remain the bedrock of OTC healthcare sales, accounting for almost 40% of global OTC value sales in 2003".


And this trend is set to continue, with Euromonitor International forecasting that products such as calcium (taken to improve bone health), glucosamine (for arthritis) and co-enzyme Q10 (for cardiovascular health) will be the main engines for growth, especially if aimed at the affluent, older generations.


Preventative care to boost growth


Future growth, Euromonitor International suggests, will come from the further development of condition-specific OTC products targeting older consumers. As well as vitamins and dietary health products such as probiotic, mineral, and eye health supplements, Euromonitor’s latest research suggests that other age-orientated growth areas will include topical analgesics in cream, gel, and spray-on formats, which are especially popular in the burgeoning Asian-Pacific market.


"Value can be added to most product sectors by targeting different lifestyles and demographic groups", comments Jungbeck. "At Euromonitor we expect herbal calming and sleeping products for example, to see rapid percentage growth in the next five years, as a new, more demanding kind of older consumer, suffering stress and sleeping difficulties, is likely to pursue optimum quality of life".


More confidence in self-medication


Euromonitor International’s latest research shows that cough, cold and allergy remedies is the second largest sector in the global OTC market after vitamins and dietary supplements, benefiting from cold winter weather in a number of markets in 2003. Euromonitor also expects this sector to see strong growth in the medium term, particularly in the antihistamine product sector.


This growth in antihistamine sales is already evident. Following Schering-Plough’s switch of its Claritin antihistamine from Rx-to-OTC in the US in late 2002, antihistamine sales in the world’s largest OTC market rose by 63% over the previous year. This sharp increase was a testament to increasing consumer demand for more effective antihistamine products due to the rising incidence of pollution- and diet-related allergies.


Euromonitor International also expects growth in the digestive remedies sector, as the result of the Rx-to-OTC switch of AstraZeneca’s Prilosec Proton pump inhibitor in the US.


Product segmentation and innovation to improve looks


A third key trend that Euromonitor forecasts will positively impact sales of OTC healthcare is a growing concern with personal appearance, especially in mature markets in Western Europe and North America. This trend has already underpinned strong growth between 1998 and 2003 in medicated skin care subsectors such as acne treatments and hair loss remedies. Future growth in such sectors is expected to be driven by increased product segmentation, led by innovations such as moisturising acne treatments targeting adults, and hair loss remedies for women.


Euromonitor International Shanghai




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