Sales Resurgence of U.S. OTCs in 2013 Helps the Market Overcome Flat Sales Performance of the Past

Nonprescription Drugs USA According to Kline’s Nonprescription Drugs USA  study, the U.S. OTC market grew over 3.0% during 2013 to reach $23.5 billion at the manufacturers’ level.  Driven by strong sales gains in analgesics, upper respiratory, nutritional, and topical products, the market appears to be showing signs of recovery. This is partly due to the long-awaited rejuvenation of several brands that have posted steep declines in the recent past as a result of supply disruptions and recalls. Brands such as Novartis’ Excedrin and Johnson & Johnson’s Tylenol and Motrin IB have experienced strong gains in 2013 thereby helping the analgesics category to post very strong gains this past year while Pfizer’s Advil, Bayer’s Aleve, and private-label analgesics also posted gains in 2013. 

The upper respiratory category also grew significantly on strong gains from Merck’s Claritin and Sanofi’s Allegra brands in the allergy category, as well as growth of cold medication brands Mucinex (Reckitt Benckiser), Nyquil and Dayquil (Procter & Gamble), EmergenC (Pfizer), Tylenol Cold and Sudafed (Johnson & Johnson), Alka-Seltzer Plus (Bayer), and private-label cough and cold products.

Nutritional products continue to drive sales volume of the industry upward, with growth seen primarily in the adult multivitamins, glucosamine and chondroitin, and omega 3 segments. Along with private-label nutritional products, Vitafusion (Church & Dwight), Centrum (Pfizer), and Schiff (Reckitt Benckiser) contribute to gains in this category.

In 2012, the U.S. OTC market was flat with sales gains in some areas being offset by declines in others. With gains across so many major OTC categories in 2013, the market appears to be on the cusp of growth and resurgence.

In addition to major existing OTC brands posting gains, Kline expects the market to expand as a result of new and innovative Rx-to-OTC switches. With the addition of new Rx-to-OTC switch brands and, in some cases, entirely new OTC categories, the market is expected to gain considerable sales and growth in the next few years. Learn more about Rx-to-OTC switches in our recently published in-depth report, Rx-to-OTC Switch USA: New Paradigm for Growth.

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