Topical analgesics/anaesthetic continues to struggle in 2021 and is expected to maintain a double-digit decline. Many brands which are popular amongst inbound tourists, such as Salonpas (Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical) and Vantelin (Kowa), have faced headwinds.
In 2020, overall demand for analgesics was poor, as people refrained from going out to prevent COVID-19 infection, wore masks, washed their hands, and gargled often. Therefore, there were fewer illnesses, and analgesics, which are preferred for quick treatment, saw a loss of demand.
The stresses of modern life, which were accelerated by the spread of COVID-19, such as telecommuting, irregular working hours, and accelerated digitalisation for entertainment, have increased consumers’ exposure to computers and smartphones, leading more people to suffer from frequent migraines and headaches. For such problems, rival treatments, such as seeing a doctor specialising in migraines, or lifestyle improvements (eating habits and diet, alcohol consumption, sleep, etc.
Topical analgesics/anaesthetic is expected to see a return to growth and recovery as vaccination rates rise and lifestyles gradually return to normal, and as inbound tourists begin to be admitted once again. In addition, in order to capture the growing popularity of sports due to the Tokyo Olympics 2020, which began in July 2021, companies are working to recover domestic demand.
Changes in the risk classification of OTC drugs will contribute to the sales increase expected in the forecast period. For example, Loxonin S used to be sold as a Class 1 drug, whereby only pharmacists are allowed to sell it.
In the future, analgesics will not only focus on efficacy, but also on ease of use and consumer appeal as factors that will help them compete in the market. Many companies have begun to make efforts in this area, including Cedes (Shionogi Pharmaceutical), which provides packaging with pictograms that show the efficacy of medicines in pictures, so that foreigners can intuitively understand the information, and the world's first multilingual voice service guidance using accessible codes (QR codes) for visually impaired people on its packages.
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Analgesics cover systemic and topical pain relievers. Products which include a pain-relief ingredient in addition to another core function are excluded (e.g. a sore throat remedy which includes paracetamol is excluded from the analgesics and instead is included in pharyngeal remedies).See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Analgesics research and analysis database.
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