First half of cold season ends with H1N1 hangover

The cough-cold aisle may be in for some changes this year with the introduction of Allegra and potential state legislation regarding pseudoephedrine’s OTC status.

All the hype around H1N1 
that was so prevalent in 2009 is gone, leaving only the tough comparisons a year later. That makes the first half of the 
2010-2011 cough-cold season an H1N1 hangover with overall sales of $4.6 billion, representing a slight decline of 1.8%, for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 26, 2010, according to SymphonyIRI Group. What was missing in 2010 was the 2009 summer of sickness that reached a crescendo in September.

For the coming year, the introduction of Allegra to over-the-counter aisles will bring a whole new once-prescription-only allergy consumer to OTC. And though Allegra is not expected to reach the sales heights of more than $200 million like its two second-generation antihistamine predecessors, an incremental $100 million to OTC allergy sales is not out of the question. 

Second is the growing number of states considering a reverse-switch and pushing 
pseudoephedrine-containing products back to prescription-only status. If successful, that may create a snowball effect among neighboring state legislators and threaten the “D” business that generated $263.7 million in sales on growth of 1% across the top three brands — Claritin-D, Mucinex D and Zyrtec-D.


The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Cough-Cold Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

Login or Register to post a comment.