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Private-label OTC Drugs Post Solid Gains in 2008, According to Kline
Date:4/8/2009

LITTLE FALLS, N.J., April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Manufacturers' sales of OTC drugs grew by 2.4% from $17.8 million in 2007 to $18.3 million in 2008, according to the latest research in Nonprescription Drugs USA 2008: Market Analysis and Opportunities from worldwide consulting and research firm Kline & Company.

Private-label OTC medicines were up 8.2% over the same time period, within which antacids and allergy medicines posted the highest growth last year, driven primarily by increases in sales of private-label omeprazole (Procter & Gamble's Prilosec OTC) and cetirizine (Johnson & Johnson's Zyrtec).

The following two areas distinctively posted very high growth mainly as a result of Rx-to-OTC switches: allergy, asthma, and sinus medications were up 17.3% as a result of strong sales from Johnson & Johnson's Zyrtec brand, as well as its equivalent private-label cetirizine; feminine products was the other area that grew 7.3% in 2008 as a result of strong sales growth of personal lubricants, as well as the Rx-to-OTC switch brand Plan B by Barr Laboratories.

"By contrasting the overall growth rates for OTCs with the growth rates for private-label products we can easily make the case that more Americans were seeking value and using private-label in 2008," says Laura Mahecha, industry manager at Kline's Healthcare practice. However, not all categories suffer from higher private-label growth as some are able to maintain growth for branded products. "During tough economic times, consumers are willing to spend more for some brands they are loyal to and that offer good efficacy," says Mahecha. However, if consumers view brands as being a commodity or not offering special advantages they may be able to make the trade-off to private-label. Mahecha goes on to say, "As the recession continues into 2009, we expect to see increased 'value messages' as part of branded advertising to combat the impacts of pri
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SOURCE Kline & Company
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