With an increasing child population in Kenya, demand for paediatric consumer health continued to grow in 2019. This trend is supporting growing demand for a number of products including paediatric vitamins and dietary supplements, paediatric digestive remedies, paediatric acetaminophen and combination products within analgesics, as concerned parents look to over the counter remedies to alleviate their children’s suffering from certain types of pain or ailments.
Some Kenyans prefer to treat certain common ailments such as coughs with natural remedies such as dark honey, which they use to treat both themselves and their children as they believe this to be more effective than packaged cough syrups, relieving symptoms such as an irritated throat, and reducing the duration of the cough and even helping to promote sleep. In addition, the use of dark honey is more affordable to treat a family compared to packaged cough remedies.
Generic medicine is rapidly increasing in popularity in Kenya, as generics are more affordable for the average Kenyan consumer compared with original brands. This shift has been driven by the high cost of living and medical care in the country, forcing some consumers to seek cheaper options or safer alternatives to unregulated unpackaged natural remedies.
Multinational players are expected to continue dominating paediatric consumer health due to their strong distribution networks, long-standing presence, and brand loyalty amongst mid- to high-income Kenyans. However, due to the government promoting parallel trade, consumers can expect to receive cheaper products from markets such as India that serve the same purpose, although scepticism remains over whether such products are suitable for their children.
Manufacturers of paediatric consumer health products in Kenya look to appeal to children by improving their palatability and using appetising flavours for both syrups and pills. They also use appealing packaging through bright attractive characters and colours.
With the increasing popularity of generic medicine in Kenya, encouraged by the government to reduce healthcare costs for much of the population, some companies are focusing on producing generics, as they are not only affordable but are also created to be on a par with original drugs in dosage, form, safety, strength, route of administration and quality in terms of performance. They can play a huge role in allowing lower-income consumers to access better healthcare.
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