Consumer health struggled in 2022 as Lebanon’s deep economic and social crisis continued to put pressure on demand across the board. However, OTC products that are seen as essential such as analgesics fared better than other categories.
Throughout 2022, Lebanon remained mired in an unprecedented social and economic crisis. This crisis has had an impact on many areas of life in the country, including the consumer health industry, which has been affected in ways that could not have been foreseen.
Pharmacies have long been the first port of call for Lebanese consumers facing mild to moderate health conditions and symptoms of non-serious illnesses, with many treating pharmacies as type of triage or assessment centre and reserving visits to doctors, hospitals and health clinics for only the most serious cases. As such, pharmacists play a key role in the healthcare system and in the consumer health industry, advising consumers on what to purchase, how to consume the products and various other key points.
Lebanon’s ongoing economic and social collapse continued to have a very serious impact on the country’s consumer health industry towards the end of the review period. Hyperinflation caused by a decline in the value of the local currency which has reached at its highest point above LBP34,000 per USD1 has made it very difficult for many Lebanese people to afford the basic necessities of life.
The onset of Lebanon’s political, social and economic crisis has exacerbated deeply rooted infrastructure issues that have evolved from an annoying but tolerable fact of life into severe challenges that make maintaining a modern lifestyle and operating a business extremely challenging. In particular, the lack of a consistent energy supply has long been an issue and power cuts were already a common occurrence before the economic crisis began.
Article 43 of Law No367/1994 and amendments made to articles 46 and 47 of this law via Law No91/2010 regulate and control sales of medicines by pharmacists, with the requirement of a prescription before any controlled medicines can be dispensed. This used to mean that consumer health products effectively fell outside of the definition of medicines under Lebanese law as they did not require a prescription to be sold.
There is little regulation of vitamins and dietary supplements in Lebanon with these products being classified as food supplements. There is no specific legal definition of food supplements under Lebanese law, although they are considered to be substances with nutritive value that have the purpose of supplementing regular food and which can be distinguished from pharmaceutical products.
Over the forecast period, consumer health in Lebanon is slated for a moderate value sales performance in constant 2022 terms, while very high inflation is expected to result in astronomical value growth rates in current terms. This extremely high unit price inflation is in dramatic of the dire prospects for Lebanon’s economy over the forecast period.
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It is the aggregation of OTC, Vitamins and Dietary Supplements (VDS), Sports Nutrition, and Weight Management and WellbeingSee All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Consumer Health research and analysis database.
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