The OTC industry is well-positioned to seize opportunities across the self-care space, executives at the recent Consumer Healthcare Products Association Annual Executive Conference shared with attendees. Those opportunities will be driven by greater consumer engagement and the growing realization around how much healthcare value can be drawn from expanding OTC access.
That sets the stage for some pretty favorable growth across a $38.3 billion industry. According to an Edelman in Health survey, use of over-the-counter medicines is already prevalent among Americans — almost 85% of Americans reported regular use of an OTC remedy. Convenience, efficacy and value were three of the key factors behind that prevalence, as noted in a special report compiled by DSN.
Technology will play a greater role in the self-care industry in 2014 as well. The Food and Drug Administration is exploring how technology might expand the number of medicines appropriate for sale in the self-care space. In addition to improving access, in-store diagnostic tools will help both to identify potential health concerns and to increase compliance of an appropriate self-care regimen.
And the leadership within the OTC industry itself will continue to help maintain any momentum in increased OTC usage. CHPA has proven to be bold, proactive and on the leading edge in addressing any challenges associated with the OTC industry. It's evident in the industry's campaign to address teen abuse of OTC medicines like dextromethorphan. There were as many as 750,000 viewers of these graphic videos on the dangers of DXM abuse in the first five months that the site was live. And according to a survey, 50% of those teens who engaged the campaign are less likely to abuse OTC medicines. "You [the OTC industry] are bold and the results are game-changing," Scott Melville, CHPA president and CEO, told attendees at the AEC.
And CHPA is looking forward to maintaining its positive momentum in meeting challenges head on and heralding the value of OTC as the gavel has been passed from Pfizer's Paul Sturman to Merck's James Mackey. "We’re fortunate to have someone like Jim Mackey stepping up to continue this positive momentum," Melville said.