Recent OTC Innovation: Observations and Implications for Future Growth

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Innovation is the lifeblood of the OTC industry. From a business perspective, it drives growth, and from a public health perspective, it better satisfies consumers’ health needs. Because innovation is so important, Kline and IRI have collaborated to examine recent OTC launches and identified their success factors including:

  • A point of difference, big or small, real or imagined, to better address patient needs
  • Expert awareness-generating, heavy advertising and promotion investment
  • Brand equity plays

The nine brands included in this assessment and shown on the timeline graphic in Table 1, have the following characteristics and were chosen for inclusion jointly by Kline and IRI:

  • Launched between 2010 to 2014
  • A mix of Rx-to-OTC switches, new and line extensions of monograph items, and supplements
  • Part of IRI’s New Products Pacesetters tracking and annual review
  • Significant media support
  • Experienced double-digit growth the year after launch
  • Still growing in Year 2

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