Ibuprofen has gained ground against aspirin and acetaminophen, commonly known as paracetamol, for more than 12 years, and today its per capita consumption in value terms is very high compared to that of the other two categories as its unit price is considerably higher. While all types of analgesics continue to see strong value growth as higher levels of stress at work and increasingly hectic lifestyles fuel demand for pain relief, ibuprofen particularly has been benefitting from this trend.
While the economy has improved and somewhat stabilised, it still remains sluggish, so while volume growth of analgesics did improve, it still continued to decline in 2019. Aspirin continued to account for the highest share of volume sales among analgesics over the year, but volume growth of both adult and paediatric versions declined more steeply from 2016 to 2019 than that of ibuprofen, and the volume growth decline of acetaminophen was even steeper over the same period of time.
Sales of generic drugs have risen in Uruguay thanks to more rational consumer behaviour, with Uruguayans having started to compare prices and opt for the best deals. In line with this trend and in a movement initiated by Laboratorio Espefar, there has been significant development of mutual pharmacies, such as that of Mutual Bancaria, which offers its members discounted or low prices and other benefits.
Gramon Bagó de Uruguay was the indisputable leader in analgesics until 2017, when its position fell to second place behind Spefar. Its rank subsequently slid to third, where it now rests, in 2018 when Bayer also surpassed its value share.
Generic analgesics continue to outperform that of the major brands, but due to the agreements that Bayer and Urufarma have entered into with the mutual pharmacies, which allow them to offer better discounts, their brands are better able to compete against generics and both companies are expected to further benefit from these arrangements over the forecast period.
Multinational brands in analgesics, such as Bayer’s Aspirina and Actron are predominantly sold in chemists/pharmacies and drugstores/parapharmacies in Uruguay. However, a considerable volume is sold in kiosks (other grocery retailers) and through homeshopping.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Health market research database.