9 January 2020 - Deborah Wilkes
Most OTC launches fail to achieve excellence and the window of opportunity is narrow, according to IQVIA Consumer Health.
Announcing the findings of a new study on OTC Launch Excellence at the recent OTCToolbox 2019 Consumer Healthcare Marketing Event, IQVIA Consumer Health told delegates that trying to do too much led to reduced success. It also stressed the importance of internal alignment within companies.
Ludovic Prevost – global principal for IQVIA Consumer Health Consulting Services – said the vast majority of OTC launches failed. Slightly less than 5% of OTC launches could be considered excellent, he added, noting that they accounted for a disproportionate value of all launches.
IQVIA Consumer Health’s study covered OTC launches since 2015 in key countries including Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, the UK and the US. The two main criteria used to determine excellence were market share in respective categories and cumulative sales.
Dominated by line extensions
Prevost pointed out that OTC launches classified as excellent were dominated by line extensions and there was a lack of real new product innovation. Line extensions accounted for 56% of excellent OTC launches, while 37% came from new products and 7% from switching medicines from prescription-to-non-prescription status.
He also drew attention to the fact that around half of OTC launches were in aspirational categories but only 30% of excellent OTC launches were in these aspirational categories.
IQVIA Consumer Health’s data shows that aspirational categories are recording higher sales growth than traditional symptom-relief categories. This is especially true in developed markets where growth in aspirational categories is four times higher than in traditional categories.
Three critical success factors
Prevost told delegates there were three critical success factors for achieving excellent OTC launches. An aligned and prepared organisation was required, he said, as well as powerful and pertinent consumer value, and effective and efficient stakeholder engagement.