Fourteen prescription drugs that exceeded $20 billion in sales in 2006 may have the potential to go OTC in four years, suggests a new report by Kalorama Information, New York.
Predicting that Rx-to-OTC switch markets will reach $5 billion in 2008 and grow by close to 40% by 2010, the study, “The Return of the Rx-to-OTC Switch: Market Analysis and Product Management Strategies,” said more than half of this year's revenues will come from allergy medications that have already switched, such as Claritin, Benadryl, Sudafed, Nasalcrom, Mucinex and Zyrtec.
Red-hot by comparison, the compound annual growth rate for antilipidemic agent switches — such as anti-cholesterol drugs Mevacor, Pravachol, Lescol and Zocor — will outpace allergy by 127.5% to 3% between 2008 and 2013, the report forecasts.
Other future potential switches include gastrointestinal drug leaders Prevacid, Protonix and AcipHex; the allergy treatment Allegra; migraine therapy Imitrex; and oral contraceptives, the report cited.
Affecting the upswing in switches are patent expirations, generic competition, suitability for OTC shelves, drug safety and efficacy, petitions to the FDA and manufacturer trends. Report author Melissa Elder said that 2006 and 2007 saw a number of switches following a brief absence, but “we believe this product management tactic will continue to be aggressively utilized as companies seek ways to extend revenue life cycles.”