OTCToolbox 2020 Consumer Healthcare BD&I Event

In February Oakland’s Cesar Vargas-Razo, Principal Consultant attended OTC’s Consumer Healthcare BD&I event in Central London.

The event saw Alan Main, Executive VP at Sanofi CHC and Chair of the Global Self Care Federation deliver an excellent keynote presentation. Focusing on three key points, Alan spoke on the incredible amount of change happening in the over-the-counter (OTC) sector with consumers demanding more self-care solutions and with companies looking to provide this with a combination of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) switching from Rx (medical prescription) to OTC. He also talked about a wide variety of digital solutions improving consumer accessibility to these and improving consumers’ perception of trust and transparency in the sector.

In another presentation, Euromonitor provided several examples of major companies offering a combination of a product with a digital tool to maximise consumer experience. Examples included:

  • Reckitt Benckiser (RB) brands being offered in conjunction with the “doctor-on-demand” telemedicine app in the US
  • Sanofi using the proprietary health digital platform Uwell in Italy, offering diagnosis assistance and e-commerce solutions for consumers
  • A GSK/Alibaba partnership in China, driving the use of “super-apps ”to provide on-line health diagnostics
  • Sanofi/Rappi partnership in 7 LA countries, for rapid product delivery of on-line purchases of OTC products

The event gave insight into how medium sized companies are driving growth by acquisition of smaller ones. Representatives from PLEXUS and SAWAYA showcased major recent operations in mergers and acquisitions, and explained how they can assist companies along the M&A path.

We were pleased to attend such an interesting event and thus continue to build on our knowledge and awareness of latest events in consumer health care. Both days highlighted recent key trends in the OTC sector which included:

  • More and more devices as delivery options for existing APIs
  • Ever increasing activities in digital health and data acquisition
  • Personalisation, especially in nutritional and wellness supplement products
  • An increasing number of companies declaring sustainability targets for improved packaging and recycling schemes (for example, RB+Terracycle, Nestle acquisition of Persona in the US)

What’s expected to be big in coming years? Microbiome related products (skin, gut, etc.), Nanotechnology in conjunction with actives, and use of Wearables as part of enhanced solutions for vulnerable groups (for example, those with an increased risk of suffering infections).