Bayer/Merck combined portfolio represents leading position across significant OTC categories
Bayer agreed to acquire the consumer care business of U.S. pharmaceutical company Merck for a purchase price of $14.2 billion. The OTC acquisition will give Bayer the global No. 2 position in nonprescription products following recently announced consolidations in this growing healthcare industry segment, and will significantly enhance Bayer’s business across multiple therapeutic categories and geographies. Merck’s consumer care business includes such leading brands as Claritin, Coppertone and Dr. Scholl’s. Pro forma sales of the combined businesses in 2013 amounted to $7.4 billion with Merck’s business, contributing approximately $2.2 billion.
Upon completion of the acquisition, Bayer is expected to achieve global leadership positions in dermatology and gastrointestinals, and advance to the No. 2 position in the cold, allergy, sinus and flu category. Bayer will remain No. 2 in nutritionals and No. 3 in analgesics. Overall, the proposed GlaxoSmithKline-Novartis combination represents the largest consumer health business with about 5.7% share, according to reports. The Bayer/Merck combination comes in second with around 4.5% share. McNeil Consumer rounds out the top-three globally with a share just above 4%.
But the combined heft a Bayer/Merck combination will wield may carry a little greater weight in the U.S. OTC market.
There is no overlap between the OTC product portfolios of Bayer and Merck, and they hold a leading vendor position in 14 categories collectively. Bayer is the No. 1 or No. 2 vendor in seven categories — lice treatments (RID), antacid/analgesic (Alka Seltzer), feminine pain relievers (Midol), internal analgesic tablets (Aleve/Bayer), stomach remedy liquid/powder (Phillips), multivitamins (One-A-Day) and cold sore medication (Campho Phenique). Meanwhile, Merck also is the No. 1 or No. 2 vendor in seven categories — wart removers (Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away), nasal spray (Afrin), cold/allergy/sinus tablets (Claritin), laxative/stimulant liquid/powder/oil (MiraLax), athlete’s foot medication (Tinactin/Lotrimin AF), foot care and foot care devices (both Dr. Scholl’s).
In 10 of the above categories, the new Bayer/Merck combination possess at least a 20% market share (rounding up) — antacid/analgesic (81%), foot care devices (54.6%), feminine pain relievers (45.2%), athlete’s foot medication (42.5%), lice treatments (33.4%), laxative/stimulant liquid/powder/oil (29.5%), wart removers (28%), stomach remedy liquid/powder (22.1%), multivitamins (20.2%) and internal analgesic tablets (19.8%). (Marketshare data courtesy IRI for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 29, 2013 across total U.S. multi-outlets.)
The Bayer/Merck combination may further boost its hold on the allergy market if the Food and Drug Administration approves Merck’s recent switch application for Singulair. However, that may become a separate deal as, according to reports, Merck has retained the switch rights to all of the prescription medicines in its portfolio.
The question as to whether a Singulair switch will even happen has been placed into some doubt — the FDA’s advisory committee recently recommended against the switch out of concern that people would attempt to self-diagnose a more serious asthma condition. However, there is precedent for both the FDA switching a remedy against the advice of its advisory committee — in fact, it is Merck’s Oxytrol for Women for the new-to-OTC category of overactive bladder that bears that distinction — and a product carrying a dual indication for both OTC and prescription-only for a more serious indication — when Procter & Gamble’s Prilosec OTC was switched it was indicated to treat frequent heartburn; the same strength of omeprazole is available as a prescription remedy for the more serious condition GERD.
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Coty names Georgia May Jagger global ambassador in fight against blood cancer
NEW YORK — Beauty company Coty has announced that Georgia May Jagger — supermodel and face of both Coty’s color cosmetics brand, Rimmel, and fragrance brand Just Cavalli — has accepted an appointment as the first Coty global ambassador in the fight against blood cancer. Coty is founding corporate sponsor of Delete Blood Cancer-DKMS, a bone-marrow-donor-registration center.
As the Coty global ambassador in the fight against blood cancer, she will serve as a spokesperson for the cause and help support Delete Blood Cancer. In that capacity, Jagger symbolically lit the Empire State Building in red and white to raise awareness for the fight against blood cancer. Also attending the lighting ceremony, which is an annual tradition for the Coty-Delete Blood Cancer Linked Against Blood Cancer partnership, were Michele Scannavini, CEO of Coty and honorary chair of the eighth annual Delete Blood Cancer Gala, and Katharina Harf, co-founder of Delete Blood Cancer and gala host.
This year marks the eighth anniversary of the Coty-Delete Blood Cancer Linked Against Blood Cancer partnership, as well as the eighth Delete Blood Cancer Gala. The A-list event took place on Wednesday at Cipriani Wall Street and raised a record $4 million; in conjunction, the Empire State Building lit up the skies from sunset on Wednesday until 2 a.m. on Thursday to help raise awareness of Delete Blood Cancer and its cause, as well as to celebrate the Gala and its fundraising goals.
"We are thrilled to be collaborating with Georgia in a different capacity as the Coty Global Ambassador supporting Delete Blood Cancer," Scannavini said. "We cannot thank Georgia enough for all the amazing work she’s done, not only for our brands but for this important cause."
During the star-studded event, Harf presented the "Delete Blood Cancer Award" to Evan Sohn and the Sohn Conference Foundation, recognizing the foundation’s dedication to the treatment and cure of pediatric cancer. After the award presentation, the event featured two performances by pop/rock artist LP and singer-songwriter Jessie J.
In the United States, blood cancers kill more children than any other disease, and they are the second-leading cause of all cancer deaths. Many of these deaths could be prevented by a bone marrow transplant; sadly, half of patients never receive the lifesaving transplant they need, in part because there are not enough registered donors.
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Walmart to increase number of solar energy projects
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Walmart said during an event with President Obama that it will double the number of on-site solar energy projects at its U.S. stores, Sam’s Clubs and distribution centers by 2020. The commitment is part of Walmart’s global initiative to drive the production or procurement of 7 billion kWh of renewable energy by the end of 2020.
“We share the president’s commitment to a sustainable energy future and applaud his willingness to partner with business on this important issue,” said Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. “We know from experience that investing in energy innovation allows us to save money, reduce carbon pollution and create jobs. Every day, millions of Americans depend on us to watch every penny so that we can provide the best prices on products they love. Our customers can feel good that we’re watching out for both their wallets and their children’s future.”
Walmart made the announcement while hosting President Obama at a solar-powered store in Mountain View, Calif. The president visited the store to highlight the importance of energy efficiency and renewables in keeping America strong.
Since 2005, Walmart’s greenhouse gas emissions grew at only one-quarter the rate of the company’s growth, nearly flatlining in recent years, the company said in a press release. With its 2020 energy goals, it anticipates an absolute decline in GHG emissions by 2020 despite significant growth plans over that same time period.
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