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Study: Greater consumer understanding of personal care active ingredients drives product development

BY Antoinette Alexander

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The U.S. specialty actives market is on the rise as consumers gain a better understanding of personal care active ingredients and increasingly demand products that deliver results, according to a recent report from consulting and research firm Kline & Co.

The specialty actives market in the United States reached nearly $240 million in 2010 and is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 3.8% through 2015, according to Kline’s recently published study “Specialty Actives in Personal Care 2011: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities.”

“The increasing average age of a U.S. citizen and desire to look younger has raised consumer expectations for efficacy of active ingredients resulting in functionality becoming increasingly important,” stated Anna Ibbotson, industry manger at Kline’s chemicals and materials practice. “Consumers want to see results, and this is reflected in the trend toward more effective finished personal care products.”

She added that, for example, “in the natural products arena, the presence of plant-based ingredients in the formulation used to be enough to encourage personal care consumers to purchase the products. However, consumer awareness concerning product activity has increased, and the product’s function and efficacy are regarded as at least as important as the active ingredient source.”

As the demand for natural concepts continues, this will sustain growth in the botanicals segment, which is currently the largest specialty actives category, with 38% market share, according to Kline. The fastest-growing category is biotechnology products, with an estimated compound annual growth rate of 4.5% from 2010 to 2015. From the functionality perspective, the largest and the fastest-growing group is anti-aging — which includes subfunctionalities, such as anti-wrinkle, firming, moisturizing, skin radiance and age spots — accounting for 56% of the market in 2010.

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Walgreens makes case of value outside of Express Scripts in SEC filing

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Walgreens on Tuesday filed a document with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission titled "The Value of Walgreens" that specifically outlined what Walgreens can bring to an employer, exclusive of any relationship with a pharmacy benefit manager, such as Express Scripts. Specifically regarding its negotiations with Express Scripts, Walgreens stated: "Negotiations remain at an impasse, and Walgreens has begun informing patients that we will not be part of the Express Scripts network as of January 1, 2012."

"Excluding Walgreens from a pharmacy network will result in little to no savings for most sponsors and patients, and in some cases will raise costs while causing significant patient disruption, risking gaps in care and increasing administrative costs on plan sponsors," Walgreens stated. "There are options: Walgreens can contract directly with plan sponsors, or help plan sponsors establish a custom retail pharmacy network, if consistent with their current PBM agreements. Walgreens believes that our costs are in line with other retail pharmacies. In most cases, this would mean that Walgreens’ average cost per adjusted script will be within 2% of the average cost per adjusted script of the non-Walgreens retail pharmacy network, on an apples-to-apples basis."

Taken in its entirety, the white paper outlines the value that Walgreens provides to pharmacy benefit plan networks and addresses a number of claims Express Scripts has made in connection with the contract renewal impasse, including whether or not the 8,000-store chain offers competitive unit prices. The Chicago-based pharmacy also argued that networks with Walgreens can lower overall prescription costs through a combination of three factors: competitive unit prices, higher-than-average rates of dispensing generic drugs and promoting 90-day at retail supply of prescriptions where appropriate.

For the full white paper, click here.

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Armada Health Care, Hemispherx sign sales, distribution agreement for Alferon N Injection

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA — Hemispherx Biopharma and Armada Health Care have entered a sales and marketing agreement for a drug designed to treat genital warts.

The two companies announced Tuesday an agreement under which Hemispherx will manufacture and supply Alferon N injection (interferon alfa-n3 [human leukocyte derived]) to physicians and patients through Armada’s national specialty pharmacy network. Specialty distributor BioRidge Pharma will warehouse, ship and distribute the drug, the companies said.

"We are very pleased to have completed our discussions with Hemispherx and are excited to start preparing for the planned launch of Alferon N injection," Armada VP sales and marketing Brian Burke said. "As the only natural interferon approved in the U.S., we think Alferon N injection has great potential in our market."

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