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Self-Care Trend Is Not Going Away.

NEW YORK -- Educational efforts by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) and others appear to be paying off, as Americans are becoming more engaged in obtaining over-the-counter medications to treat their minor aches and ailments, according to a recent market report from Coherent Market Insights.

Another trend driving growth in the market for O-T-C medications is the expansion of prescription-to-O-T-C switches, a development that is leading to the emergence of several O-T-C categories as well as new brands entering the market in existing categories.

"Increasing inclination of the populace towards self-medication for treatment of minor health conditions, low pricing of these drugs, convenience of direct purchase as well as innovations and developments in the dosage forms of these drugs is fueling the market for O-T-C drugs," Coherent Market Insights said. "According to CHPA, the number of allergy sufferers using O-T-C medications increased from 66% in 2009 to 75% on 2015 in the United States. However, the market growth is restricted due to tough competition among the key players, high possibilities of addiction and substance abuse."

The majority of consumers are using O-T-C medicines safely, the CHPA Educational Foundation reported in 2015, citing a Harris Poll survey to identify consumers' knowledge gaps regarding the appropriate use, storage and disposal of oral O-T-C medicines.

Market research firms IRI and Kline & Co. collaborated on a recent report that concluded that the "natural" trend in consumer products is a significant driver in "the self-care space."

"The desire to use 'safer' products with fewer side effects is a primary motivation for purchasers of natural O-T-Cs," according to the report, which found that a majority of consumers in the United States use O-T-Cs for illness prevention and treatment, and most consumers purchase such products once a month.

The researchers at IRI and Kline also found that key sources of information about natural O-T-Cs include consumers' own research and recommendations from friends, relatives and health care professionals. Half of those surveyed for the report perceived natural O-T-Cs to be safer than traditional O-T-Cs. Most consumers said they expect to pay more for natural O-T-Cs.

Several brands that are natural and were once limited and niche in their retail distribution are being "mainstreamed," IRI and Kline said, and mass retailers are getting the lion's share of sales.

Social media can play an outsize role in bringing attention to O-T-C brands. Boiron USA is running a "Wherever you go, Oscillo" sweepstakes contest to ensure its best-selling flu medicine Oscillococcinum is top of mind. Running December through February, #OscilloToGO raised product awareness during the holiday travel season, which coincides this year with the high flu illness levels. This year's "Aussie" flu that affected more than two and a half times more consumers in Australia has propelled U.S. sales of the product, known as "Oscillo." A posted testimonial from Facebook user Sandi Ashby Flippo has "gone viral"--even being shown on a local news segment on the flu in Mobile, Ala. Several local news programs throughout the South have reported on the strong sales of Oscillococcinum in area stores, and Boiron reported a 173.1% sales increase for the last four weeks ended January 13 (versus the prior-year period) through the top three national drug chains and two of the nation's top mass market retailers.
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Title Annotation:O-T-C REMEDIES
Date:Jan 29, 2018
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