Baby boomers, preventive solutions drive OTC

Overall, the OTC sector in 2013 realized $40.2 billion in sales, according to data culled from OTC categories tracked by IRI. That’s up from the $38.3 billion that DSN reported last year. The 2013 sales numbers reflect a strong 2012-2013 cough-cold season and the relaunch of Tylenol, Excedrin and Motrin.

The aging of the baby boomer is reflected across the best-selling OTC brands. Two of the top five brands are pain relievers. The adult incontinence brand Poise holds the No. 2 spot in terms of OTC sales, and standing at No. 6 is Ensure’s RTD protein shakes.

While baby boomers will continue to drive the pound of cure, overall more Americans are more often seeking their ounce of prevention. According to Bain & Co.’s recent Healthy Living Survey, 75% of consumers are in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. Take that predominant mindset, coupled with the outcomes-driven preventive focus associated with the Affordable Care Act, and you have a formula for OTC success at retail pharmacy.

Retailers are already supplying preventive health solutions. H-E-B and Rediclinic last month augmented its Weigh Forward weight-loss clinic with an online component. Also, GlaxoSmithKline and Walgreens teamed up to launch Sponsorship to Quit, a free online quit-smoking program.

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