OTC Market Growth is Closely Linked to Rx-to-OTC Switch Activity, States GBI Research09 May 2012 • by Natalie Aster
Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are available in the market without prescription and are widely used by consumers to treat a wide range of minor ailments. In 2010, the global over-the-counter (OTC) market was estimated to be worth around $104 billion, with the US and Western Europe accounting for nearly 50% of sales and Japan accounting for around 12.8% of revenues. Today, there are over 300,000 OTC medicines and ingredients available for purchase to treat a broad range of conditions including high cholesterol, weight management, skin disorders and respiratory infections.
According to the report “Rx-to-OTC Switching Strategies - New Switching Opportunities in Weight Management and Smoking Cessation, but Encouraging the Uptake of Self-Medication Remains a Challenge” by GBI Research, at present, OTC medicines are strictly regulated and a number of regulatory processes have now been established to enable new and approved products to be reviewed and approved in a clear and transparent manner. Many large pharmaceutical companies have already made strategic investment in OTC medicines including GlaxoSmithKline, Reckitt Benckiser, Bayer Healthcare, Novartis, Sanofi, Pfizer, Merck & Co. and Proctor & Gamble, and whilst their business strategies vary, their success has been based on a combination of careful product selection and positioning, optimal distribution and aggressive marketing.
However, the pharmaceutical industry faces many challenges such as rising drug development costs, increased competition, and shorter periods of market exclusivity to maximize their return on investment (ROI). This has forced companies to re-examine their product lifecycle management (PLM) strategies to find proactive solutions to optimize their revenue stream. PLM can encompass many routes including reformulations, advanced delivery formulations, expanded indications, fixed dose combinations as well as assessing opportunities to switch prescription drugs to OTC or develop pre-authorized or branded generics.
New Switching Opportunities in Weight Management and Smoking Cessation, but Encouraging the Uptake of Self-Medication Remains a Challenge
Published: April, 2012
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The Rx-to-OTC switching strategy needs careful planning and investment and ideally should be included within the PLM plan during the early phases of precription drug (Rx) development. The timing of Rx-to-OTC switching will be reliant on many external factors including patent expiration and generic erosion of the parent compound, new Rx technologies to optimize delivery and line-extensions as well as the OTC competitive environment and product labeling.
More information can be found in the report “Rx-to-OTC Switching Strategies - New Switching Opportunities in Weight Management and Smoking Cessation, but Encouraging the Uptake of Self-Medication Remains a Challenge” by GBI Research.
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