Progressive Grocer

AUG 2015

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OTC Medications D rugs that have recently switched from prescription to OTC status can generate excitement and dol- lars for the OTC drug category. "Switches help to drive the OTC category to new levels," explains Lisa Buono, health care expert at Chicago-based market research frm IRI. "Tey generate growth because they are priced higher than existing prod- ucts, they often create new categories, and they may attract consumers who have never considered an OTC product to self-treat a condition before." "Accessibility is the biggest win for patients when it comes to switched products," says Dave Wendland, VP of Waukesha, Wis.-based Ham- acher Resource Group. "A number of mitigating circumstances, such as high copays or access to a primary care physician, can act as a barrier to prescription products. When a product is switched, patients are able to self-treat with medications that have been proven to be efective." Te biggest news in the category in 2015 was the switch of GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) Flonase Al- lergy Relief (futicasone propionate 50 mcg spray). Lately, the allergy category has been a busy one for switched products: Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Chattem, Sanof's consumer health care division, launched Nasacort Allergy 24HR Nasal Spray in 2014, and McNeil Consumer Healthcare, in Fort Washington, Pa., is set to launch AstraZeneca's Rhinocort in the next year. Both of these nasal steroids ofer a signifcant treatment advantage over oral antihistamines, which have long been a source of consumer dissatisfaction. While the Flonase switch was approved in July 2014, Clifton, N.J.-based GSK wisely waited until February to launch, so as to gain an advan- tage going into allergy season. "Nasacort had a strong launch and had the market to itself for eight months, so it was important for Flonase to go into The New Switcheroo The newest crop of drugs to go from prescription to over-the-counter offerings can see big sales — if manufacturers and retailers handle the change correctly. By Barbara Sax 102 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | August 2015 Health Beauty & Wellness the market with guns blazing," notes Laura Mahe- cha, industry manager of health care at Parsippany, N.J.-based Kline & Co. "Waiting until February al- lowed GSK to go full-force. All of their messaging was consistent and they were able to have maximum impact in the market. It will be interesting to see what J&J's McNeil will do with Rhinocort." Category Drivers Te allergy drug launches have had a big impact on the cough/cold and allergy segments of the category. "Allergy is a big issue in the U.S., and inci- dence of year-round allergies has skyrocketed," observes Wendland. "Tere has been tremendous growth in the allergy segment since the 2011 switch of Allegra. In fact, the upper-respira- tory category has been reshaped since Claritin switched in 2002, and cough/cold has been over- shadowed by allergy products." Wendland adds that a proliferation of products can lead to consumer confusion. "It can be a chal- lenge for consumers to understand the diference between products," he says. Retailers are using on-shelf education, such as an in-store video on Nasacort, to help consumers make decisions about which product to select. Retailers have had to make some tough choices in terms of pace allocation, and are sacrifcing prod- ucts to make room for recent switches. "Cough/cold and allergy is a category that has had a high level of consumer dissatisfaction with products, so recently switched products take a particular toll on anti- histamines, which have long been market staples," asserts Mahecha. According to Wendland, retailers

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