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Euromonitor: Switch behind 3% growth in global OTC sales


CHICAGO - Global market research company Euromonitor International on Tuesday projected global sales of consumer health products will reach $217 billion globally in 2016 – a 3% growth from 2015.

Over-the-counter medicine represents 45% of the consumer health industry at $98.5 billion in 2016. The main driver of this growth stems from prescription drugs switching to OTC, especially in allergy care, Euromonitor noted.

“An important push to switch drugs from prescription to OTC or non-prescription drugs continues to bring new market expansion opportunities for firms,” stated Monica Feldman, head of consumer health industry research at Euromonitor International. “This is especially true in the therapeutic areas of respiratory and digestive health and esomeprazole.”

The U.S. continues to dominate the consumer health space representing 31% of the overall industry at $67 billion in 2016. Paired with China, Japan, Germany and Italy, these five countries comprise 61% of global sales within consumer health, confirming that the industry is mainly driven by developments in a few geographies. This finding also signals an opportunity for market expansion in other countries with only 1% to 2% global share in 2016, including South Korea, France, India and Mexico amongst others.

“This year, the new proposition for consumer health is founded on a formidable shift toward lifestyle and wellness programmes supported by a holistic approach to self-care,” Feldman said. “These factors will create a unique window of opportunity based on the personalization of consumer health.”

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