HEALTH

Segmentation on the horizon

BY Michael Johnsen

Retailers were preparing for the imminent launch of Chattem’s Nasacort Allergy 24HR nasal spray (triamcinolone intranasal) last month, clearing out quite a bit of shelf space for the new allergy remedy.

(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)

And with good reason. The switch of a significant name brand, prescription-only remedy to OTC aisles has traditionally meant a significant uptick in sales across the category. Nasacort, more than any of the other blockbuster allergy switches, may bring incremental sales to the category because it is the first and only nasal corticosteroid to be available without a prescription.

However, the sales potential for Nasacort Allergy 24HR nasal spray is being capped at $200 million per year vs. the $380 million per year that such tablet remedies as Claritin or Zytrec generate, or the approximate $320 million that Allegra generates, according to Laura Mahecha, industry manager at Kline Healthcare. The nasal format is not expected to become as big as the competing allergy tablets, she said, because tablets are perceived to be a preferred delivery form among consumers.

Another opportunity developing within allergy is segmentation by allergen — tree pollen is predominant in the spring, grass in the summer and ragweed in the fall. Mold is considered a year-round allergy trigger but peaks in the spring.

That’s exactly the opportunity companies are pursuing on the prescription side of the business. The Food and Drug Administration last month held a public meeting of the Allergenic Products Advisory Committee to determine the safety and efficacy of Ragwitek, a short ragweed pollen allergen extract tablet for sublingual use, which is manufactured by Merck.

In December, the same committee granted approval for Stallergenes’ Oralair, which are grass allergy tablets.

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Sales of Nyquil, Dayquil continue rise

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Another nighttime remedy that historically has performed well is Procter & Gamble’s combo pack of Vicks Nyquil and Vicks Dayquil. Sales of the combo liquids were up 94.2% to $39 million, and sales of its tablet combo pack were up 16% to $45.7 million. Vicks combination packs may soon get another lift from the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Russia, of which P&G is one of the corporate sponsors. The Vicks Nyquil/Dayquil brands tapped U.S. Alpine skier Ted Ligety as a spokesman this season.

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Mucinex to tap into robust nighttime market

BY Michael Johnsen

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Reckitt Benckiser this season extended its line of popular Mucinex Fast-Max to include a product for nighttime cold and flu relief in both liquid and tablet form.

According to the company, nighttime relief is a $600 million market in the United States, and Mucinex Fast-Max is differentiated from its competitors because it contains an active ingredient for nasal decongestion.

Reckitt Benckiser’s Mucinex Fast-Max tablets reached $80.5 million in sales on a 307.7% lift. And sales of Mucinex Fast-Max liquid formulations were up 29.7% to $94.3 million for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 1 across U.S. total multi-outlets, according to IRI.

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