Sales of cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies recovered slightly in 2019 due to there being more cases of colds and flu in the country, particularly during the first half of the year. By April 2019, more than 10,000 people in Australia had been diagnosed with the flu since the start of the year.
2019 saw slower growth in sales of antihistamines/allergy remedies (systemic) as unusually dry conditions and low wind levels in many parts of the country meant that lower levels of pollen were spread across major metropolitan areas. Allergy symptoms spiked earlier in the review period after 2017 saw a freak thunderstorm spread ryegrass pollen throughout suburban areas of Melbourne, resulting in hundreds of hospitalisations and the deaths of two people from acute asthma attacks.
The impact of the 2018 up-scheduling of all OTC products containing codeine continued to have a strong effect on sales of cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies in 2019. In particular, combination products - cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies experienced sales declines in 2018, although sales bounced back in 2019 as consumers turn to replacement products that do not contain codeine.
Johnson & Johnson Pacific remained the leading company in cough, cold and allergy remedies in 2019. The company continues to benefit from its wide portfolio of brands, including household names such as Zyrtec, Benadryl, Codral, Sudafed, and Rhinocort.
Bayer maintained its position as the second leading player in cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies in 2019. The company continues to benefit from the strong performances of its Nasonex brand in nasal sprays and its Claratyne brand, which is a strong name in antihistamines/allergy remedies (systemic).
2019 saw Sanofi-Aventis rebrand Telfast, the leading name in antihistamines/allergy remedies (systemic). This rebranding exercise focused mainly on a new purple colour scheme for the product’s packaging.
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