Based on statements issued by the Ministry of Health towards the end of the review period, there is currently a high chance of Rx to OTC switches being seen in antihistamines/allergy remedies (systemic) during the forecast period. The main motivation for the switches is that many Kazakh consumers have expressed their extreme dissatisfaction with the fact that even minor cases of allergies require them to visit a doctor on a regular basis to have their prescriptions renewed in order to obtain medications to manage the symptoms of allergies.
Seasonal colds and flu remain highly prevalent during the annual period in cold weather in Kazakhstan, which stretches from the start of autumn in October until the end of winter, which is usually at the beginning of March. This means that sales of cough remedies, pharyngeal preparations and decongestants and to peak strongly at this time of year, especially in northern regions of Kazakhstan.
Sales of cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies remain under pressure from the increasingly notable consumer preference for taking steps to prevent the onset of colds and flu, rather than waiting to fall ill before treating the symptoms of viral illnesses. The categories which are present in the strongest challenges in this respect are vitamins and dietary supplements, with vitamin C, echinacea and multivitamins among the categories which consumers are turning to in an effort to strengthen their immune systems and minimise the possibility that they will succumb to a cold or the flu during winter.
Health and beauty specialist retailers continued to account for almost all sales of cough/cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies during 2019, with chemists/pharmacies very dominant and drugstores/parapharmacies accounting for the vast majority of remaining sales. The main reason for this position is that there are legislative restrictions on the retail distribution of all of the products categorised under cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies, with chemists/pharmacies and drugstores/parapharmacies the only channels permitted to dispense these products.
No major changes were seen in the competitive landscape in cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies in 2019 as the list of leading players remain the same as during previous years of the review period. The main reason for this situation is that the majority of Kazakh consumers have already identified their preferred brands in the category and they tend to remain very loyal to a brand once they have established that it effectively manages their symptoms without side effects.
As noted above, cough remedies, pharyngeal preparations and decongestants are widely advertised on national television channels throughout cold periods of the year, specifically between October and March. The incidence of colds and flu tends to increase dramatically at this time of year, particular in northern regions of the country.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Health market research database.