Volume sales of sleep aids continued to decline in 2019 as Danish consumers are increasingly interested in more holistic approaches to getting better sleep, rather than taking OTC products. This holistic approach forms part of the wider health and wellness trend and focuses on exercise, yoga, meditation and hypnosis as part of generally healthier and less stressful lifestyles.
Sales of prescription sleep aids are on the decline in Denmark and this is linked to widespread consumer concerns over the propensity for these products to fuel addiction, not to mention the dangers they present in terms of an overdose being potentially fatal. This situation has the potential to present strong opportunities for sales of OTC sleep aids, which are seen as more natural and far less harmful than prescription alternatives.
Recent years have seen the use of melatonin supplements increase among the Danish population as people increasingly perceive these as a natural and effective way to regulate sleep patterns and promote the chances of a good night’s sleep. However, recent years have seen Danish doctors warn against the increased use of melatonin, particularly among children and young adults, as the long-term effects of this substance remain uncertain.
The Danish Medicines Agency estimating that around 15% of Danes have problems sleeping and that 25% suffer from stress, which is a major contributor to sleep problems. Despite this the growth, sales of sleep aids in Denmark remain modest and one major reason for this is that huge numbers of Danish consumers still view taking sleep aids as something inherently negative, even if they are only taking herbal/traditional OTC products.
With prescription sleep aids widely viewed as inherently dangerous and unhealthy products, it is very unlikely that any of the sleep aids currently listed under Rx status will be switched to OTC status in the near future. In particular, the Danish health authorities are very concerned about the potential for the overuse of sleep aids in general.
Relatively high online sales of sleep aids are linked to the fact that all products in the category are herbal/traditional products. This means that there are few restrictions on the online distribution of OTC sleep aids, marking the product area out from other OTC consumer health categories.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Health market research database.