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The consumer market trend of Over-the-counter drugs in Thailand.

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The consumer market trend of Over-the-counter drugs in Thailand.

 

I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Doctor’s recommendation dictates OTC directions

During the review period, Over-the-counter Drugs in current value term has been growing at a moderate growth rate as the average retail price is sinking. Recommendation from the doctors or pharmacists has a strong influence on the further purchasing decision making of the patients after the supply has runs out. As doctors and pharmacists prefer to stock generic drugs, which are less costly for them, the end consumers are likely to buy the same drugs for self-medication. Prices of generic drugs are commonly cheaper so that growth of the market value decelerates.

Secondly, due to the prevailing back to nature trend, herbal/traditional products are gaining popularity over the imported products. Finally, educated Thais try to avoid taking drugs on a regular basis and turn to alternative means of keeping themselves healthy. These factors are the main reasons causing decline of the current value growth although the volume sales enjoy a high growth rate. Demand on Over-the-counter Drugs in volume term is high as Thai population is in the aging stage.

 

Preventive action trend drives VDS large

Due to growing stressful and hectic lifestyle, modern Thai people more deeply concern on their health than ever before. Educated by modern mass media, Thai people do not only prefer to keep themselves healthy, but also aware of certain products that answer to their specific needs. Moreover, availability of vitamins and dietary supplements (VDS) in Thailand is increasing since new innovative products are consistently introduced by multinational companies. As such, value sales of VDS are largest comparing to other segments in VDS market.

Retail prices of VDS are uprising while the new and more efficient products with better quality are launched into the market. Supported by up-to-dated research and development unit, it is foreign drug manufacturers who invent these products, and the cost of development is relatively higher than the traditional VDS. Growing demand on the expensive modern VDS directly increase the value sales. Furthermore, major tonic and bottled nutritive drink brand owners have introduced such premium product as bird nest drink and ginseng, of which the prices are in the top range.

 

Outstanding growth detected in tiny segments

XXX detected the highest sustainable growth such very small segments in value term as emergency contraception, eye care, and adult mouth care sector. All these markets are growing from the small base, and therefore there is further room for growth. For emergency contraception, it is the issue of changing lifestyle of Thai teenagers that the number of undesired pregnancy is increasing. On the other hand, growth rate in the eye care and adult mouth care is stimulated by the launch of new products that give Thai consumers more choice, apart from traditional cure.

 

Severe price competition expected in almost every segment

Price competition occurs in almost every OTC segment. Growing popularity in herbal/traditional drugs, presence of generic drugs, and increasing number of drug manufacturer in Thailand stimulate price war among generic drugs in major segments including analgesics, cough, cold, and allergy remedies, digestive remedies, and medicated skin care. In addition, doctors and pharmacists are likely to stock more generic drugs as they have higher margins and are therefore more likely to be recommended to the patients. In contrary, although the VDS segment is also competitive, brand owners frequently carry out new products, of which the prices are normally raised.

 

Beginning of the pharmacy chain age in Thailand

During the review period, XXX finds that there will be increasing presence of pharmacy chains in urban and tourism areas in Thailand. These pharmacy and drugstore chains are trying to increase products selection as well as brand loyalty. By offering their own brands at premium prices, they have a great chance of capturing demands from the upper-income people, as long as the brand positioning is maintained at the high level. The most famous example of growing pharmacy chain in Thailand is Boots. It also offers a variety of private label products from analgesics to wound treatments.

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