In 2018, the NHS announced that around GBP136 million a year is spent on prescriptions that could be bought OTC. As the NHS comes under increasing financial and resources pressure due to further budget cuts, a decision was therefore made to cut back on Rx treatments routinely prescribed by GPs.
Products such as topical antifungals, allergy remedies, antihistamines and antiseptics continue to enjoy seasonal uplifts, with sales heightened during summer. However, growth in 2019 was slightly lower than in 2018, since the UK saw much hotter temperatures in the latter year.
The appeal of natural and organic brands rises as UK consumers increasingly demand transparency as awareness of ingredients heightens. In paediatric dermatologicals, parents are increasingly concerned about the presence of potentially harmful synthetic ingredients in the products they use on their children, and as a result are more willing to pay a premium price for high-quality and safe brands they can trust.
Antifungals has seen brands ramp up their activity, including in-store advertisements in Boots and Superdrug, as well as TV activations from players such as Scholl. Scholl has performed particularly well through its wide portfolio of athlete’s foot and antifungal treatments, and has achieved segment leadership.
In the UK, some categories tend to be heavily saturated by a few major brands. Dettol for example dominates antiseptics, followed closely by Savlon.
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