Over-the-counter Drugs Market - Key players operating in the global over-the-counter drugs market include Alkem Laboratories Limited, GlaxoSmithKline Plc., Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH
Over-the-Counter Drugs Market - Global Competitive Analysis
Over-the-counter drugs, also known as non-prescription drugs, are available in pharmacies and other retail stores and can be used without being prescribed by a doctor. These drugs are critical components of the pharmaceutical industry as they are highly potent and have the capability to show effective results for simple diseases. The number of competitors diving into the large pool of pharmaceutical industry are increasing day-by-day making the industry a promising venture for new comers to capitalize upon. This review will help to attain a competitive analysis of developments such as strategic alliances, mergers and acquisition, joint ventures as well research and innovation leading to product development with respect to over-the-counter drugs market. According to Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the total U.S. sales for OTC medicines accounted for US$ 34,327 million in 2017.
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Competitive Analysis - The top 10 players operating in the global over-the-counter drugs market include:
• Pfizer, Inc.,
• Novartis AG
• GlaxoSmithKline Plc.
• Bayer AG
• Glenmark Pharmaceuticals
• Merck KGaA
• Teva Pharmaceuticals
• Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc.
• Boehringer Ingelheim
1. Pfizer, Inc. - Pfizer, Inc. is a global manufacturer and distributor of over-the-counter drugs, managing its commercial operation through two major business segments namely, Pfizer Innovative Health and Pfizer Essential Health. OTC drugs account for a major part of the revenue generated by the Innovative Health Segment, comprising annual revenue of US$ 29,197 million in 2016. The company OTC drugs portfolio includes over 40 products, whereas the leading OTC brands that generated significant revenue for Pfizer include Advil (Ibuprofen capsules for migraine) and Centrum (Multivitamin Tablets), in 2016. Moreover, the company collaborated for the license of Nexium OTC rights under the exclusive agreement with AstraZeneca Plc. made in 2012, Pfizer paid US$ 93 Mn to AstraZeneca in April, 2016 as accrued milestone payments as per the norms of the agreement. Pfizer, Inc. adopts strategies such as partnerships and collaborations with companies, and introducing novel, proprietary drug-delivery technologies as well as unique ingredients of the OTC drugs to maintain a competitive edge in the global over-the-counter drugs market.
2. Novartis AG - Novartis AG, is widely known for its research, development, manufacturing, and marketing of healthcare products across the globe. Novartis operates its drugs business through two major operating channels; Innovative Medicine and Drugs. Sandoz, which is a subsidiary of Novartis, has played an important role in positioning the company as one of the top players in the global over-the-counter drugs market. In March 2015, Novartis OTC and GlaxoSmithKline Plc. created a combined consumer healthcare business named GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Holdings Ltd. as a completely new entity, for which Novartis has an interest of 36.5% in the investment and profit shares. The resulting pre-tax income from this alliance was valued at US$ 5.9 billion in 2016. The company also markets and manufactures its products through Sandoz. Sandoz specializes in OTC medications for allergy and pain relief and is available in pharmacies across the world. The channel focuses on business expansion and distribution in the Central & Eastern Europe region, including Germany.
3. GlaxoSmithKline Plc. - GlaxoSmithKline, one of the key players in the pharmaceutical industry and over-the-counter drugs market, is a global science-led company headquartered in Europe which develops and manufactures pharmaceutical products including vaccines, health-related consumer products, and over-the-counter medicines. The consumer healthcare business of GlaxoSmithKline is operated through its subsidiary, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Holdings Ltd. The subsidiary is split into two equal businesses, namely over-the-counter medicines and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), across four major categories of Oral Health, Wellness, Skin Health, and Nutrition. The company’s consumer healthcare business segment recorded annual sales of US$ 5,023 million in 2016, of which Europe contributed a major share of around 30.4%, and the U.S. accounted for 24.4% of the share. The company adopts business expansion strategies and develops products that meet the growing consumer demand from the over-the-counter drugs sector. The company also offers its services such as educating users on ways to prevent adverse side effects of these drugs when consumed inappropriately among others. The company also focuses on providing products at a sustainable price to increase customer adoption and allow access to several patients around the world.
4. Bayer AG - Bayer AG is a global life science company that has presence in areas such as healthcare and agriculture. The company operates its business through four major segments, namely pharmaceuticals, consumer health, crop science, and animal health. Over-the-counter drugs account for a major revenue share of the consumer health segment, which was around US$ 7,179.19 million in 2016. The company caters to the over-the-counter drugs market through its consumer health segment. The segment includes major non-prescription drugs and products in the dermatology, gastrointestinal, analgesic, cold, allergy, and sinus, and sun protection categories. The consumer health segment is responding to challenges in public health care system, particularly non-prescription (OTC) products, by providing consumers with their corresponding self-care solutions that are easily available at pharmacies and online drug stores. The core brands leading to organic growth of the company’s segment include Aspirin, Aleve, Canesten, Dr. Scholls, Coppertone, Elevit, Bepanthen, Alka-Seltzer, and Berocca. The company is investing in geographical expansion to strengthen its presence in the U.S. Brazil, Russia, and China through marketing innovations and novel digital offerings. For instance, the company introduced a number of new product line extensions in the U.S. of its existing brands including ClariSpray in April, 2016, as well as the addition of Alka-Seltzer Plus as an OTC medicine for treatment of cold. Successful strategic implementation and new product development by the company is expected to significantly affect the growth of global over-the-counter drugs market.
5. Sanofi - Sanofi is a global life science company based in France (Europe) that is aimed towards improving healthcare access to people. The company operates its business through two major segments; pharmaceuticals and vaccines. The company operates its over-the-counter business through its Consumer Healthcare (CHC) segment. Sanofi focuses on partnerships and acquisitions to expand its consumer healthcare business. For instance, Sanofi completed acquisition of Boehringer Ingelheim’s CHC business in 2017. In February 2017, Sanofi sold 5 of its over-the-counter drugs to Ipsen SA to bring closure to its asset swap with Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH. Ipsen SA was entitled for a payment of US$ 98.70 million to purchase the deal from Sanofi. The total revenue of the company’s consumer healthcare segment was valued at US$ 4,141.31 million in 2016. The company reported good performance and growing sales in developing regions such as New Zealand and Australia. The major brands in the company’s OTC segment include Allegra, Doliprane, Essentiale, Nasacort, Maalox, Dorflex, and Lactacyd
The global over-the-counter drugs market is highly competitive owing to increasing adoption of personal healthcare and self-medication due to rising awareness among the people regarding health precautions and basic drug knowledge. Under such conditions, the competitors experience performance pressure in terms of pricing. Market players are thus focusing on development of OTC drugs in cost-effective way that will help to cater price-sensitive customers, in turn, significantly maintain and subsequently increase profit margins, especially in emerging economies.
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