In 2014, two intranasal steroids for the treatment of allergic rhinitis received FDA approval for Rx-to-OTC switch—Sanofi’s Nasacort Allergy 24 Hour and GlaxoSmithKline’s Flonase Allergy Relief. Nasacort entered the OTC market in February 2014 and according to recently released data from Kline’s Nonprescription Drugs USA study, from February through December 2014, the product generated about $100 million in sales at the manufacturers’ level. Kline pegs the overall allergy market up 10.0% to over $1.8 billion in sales at the manufacturers’ level.
Despite an already crowded OTC allergy market with stalwarts like oral medications Claritin (Bayer Group), Zyrtec (Johnson & Johnson), and Allegra (Sanofi) and strong penetration by private-label versions of these major brands, Nasacort Allergy 24 Hour managed to deliver strong sales in its first year on the market. Although Nasacort’s form of being an inhaled medication would have been expected to be a disadvantage for the brand, since most consumers prefer to take oral medications, its increased efficacy compared to traditional antihistamines has proven to be more important.
“Increased prevalence and duration of seasonal allergies along with relatively high dissatisfaction with existing OTC allergy brands lead to consumer trial of Nasacort in 2014,” says Laura Mahecha, Kline’s Healthcare Industry Manager. “The success of the product in year one is also a result of Chattem’s (division of Sanofi) well executed product launch with nationwide multimedia advertising, strong in-store marketing and displays, and innovative interactive screens on retail shelves helping consumers understand how Nasacort works differently than existing OTC allergy brands.”
To find out more about the U.S. nonprescription drug industry, refer to Kline’s upcoming report—Nonprescription Drugs USA. Comprised of a written report and an online, interactive database, the study focuses on key trends, developments, challenges, business opportunities, and new product activity, and offers insights and pertinent information for 31 product categories, as well as detailed profiles for approximately 12 major companies and about 50 smaller players.