SOURCE: Kalorama Information

Kalorama Information

January 22, 2013 12:47 ET

Expect More Rx to OTC Switches: Kalorama Information Reports

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jan 22, 2013) -  A new report says that Rx to OTC switches continue to be a popular tactic with pharmaceutical marketers and new OTC drugs could be classified in coming years. Kalorama Information, a healthcare market research publisher, said that switches help reach new consumers in the U.S. and abroad. There is a $7.6 billion U.S. market for products with switched ingredients, according to Kalorama Information's latest report on pharmaceutical products switched from prescription to non-prescription, "The Market for Rx To OTC Switches."

Over-the-counter (OTC), drugs are drugs that an individual may purchase without a prescription. By definition, the FDA has found them to be safe for use without medical supervision. Drugs often included in OTC segments are pain relievers, cough and cold remedies, sleeping aids, antifungals, and other products approved for use as a self-medication product. Historically, patients depended only on health-care professionals to diagnose a condition and prescribe a prescription drug for treatment, but now patients have become more involved in health-care issues and now have taken some medical treatment into their own hands. This has provided an opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to invest in research and development of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. 

"Aging baby boomers, many of which are taking greater interest in their health, have created a growing Rx to OTC industry in the United States," said Melissa Elder, author of the report. "We think Rx to OTC switch products will continue to grow as more products in various pharmaceutical categories near patent expiration. The prescription products of today are potential candidates after standing the test of time as a prescription product."

Kalorama said the market for products with switched ingredients has increased by 3.5% from 2007's $6.4 billion. The allergy segment contributed the most to growth due to the switch of Zyrtec in 2007 and Allegra in 2011. Additionally, sales for Claritin remained strong. The gastrointestinal and 'other' product categories also saw fast revenue growth. 

There are some prescription products that are just not suitable for use without the supervision of a doctor (i.e. products that require blood pressure monitoring). However, with the FDA's early 2012 announcement for encouraging switches, we may see another surge in approvals if requests are filed.

The report "The Market for Rx To OTC Switches" profiles key companies in the pharmaceutical industry who are engaged in Rx to OTC switches. It also details revenues for switched products, breakouts for overall pharmaceutical segment markets, trends in the industry, status of future switches and more. Information on the report can be obtained at Kalorama Information's website at 

About Kalorama Information
Kalorama Information, a division of, supplies the latest in independent medical market research in diagnostics, biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and healthcare; as well as a full range of custom research services. We routinely assist the media with healthcare topics. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and our blog.

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