Consumer health is a fast growing industry with strong development across categories. High healthcare costs have increased focus on self-care and prevention and the health and fitness trend has consumers seeking products that support personal wellbeing. Attracted by bright growth prospects, companies are increasing stakes in consumer health. As policy updates shift regulations towards efficiency and product accessibility, the enforcement of consumer protection guidelines is increasingly strict.
Burgeoning healthcare expenditure is a progressively large burden for economies around the world. As governing agencies enact policies that push health responsibility back to consumers, self-medication and preventive care are increasingly common as a way to avoid costly medical treatments.
Agencies are taking a more flexible approach to certain regulations such as OTC switches and product distribution. At the same time, they are intensifying the enforcement of policies, especially those geared towards consumer protection. The combination of greater regulatory flexibility and enforcement will improve compliance and foster consumer confidence in self-treatment.
Given the consumer megatrend towards health and wellness, as well as other favourable demographic, economic and regulatory developments, companies are increasing their stakes in the highly profitable consumer health industry. Acquisitions prioritising geographic and portfolio expansion and strategic partnerships have the potential to reshape the competitive landscape.
Retailers are expanding their role as partners in wellness by bolstering healthcare resources and offerings, such as retail clinics and health information kiosks. Non-traditional channels, especially internet retailing, are on the rise as distribution restrictions ease and retailers grow their online capabilities. However, store-based sales will continue to dominate OTC given immediacy of use.
Technology is a growing part of consumer health, affecting all players across the industry. Most notable of all is the wealth of available information empowering consumers to make educated decisions, as well as the growing number of opportunities for companies to connect with consumers.
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