We were reunited with fellow conference goers after a three-year gap, thanks to the pandemic. There were a lot of interesting talks, discussions and sharing of experience and knowledge through these unprecedented times. It’s probably one of the friendliest and welcoming conferences you can join.
The consumer healthcare industry enjoyed 6% growth in 2021, this is incredible given we have been in lockdown so communicable illnesses such as the usual coughs and colds and stomach bugs were self-contained and with it the need for self-treat cough cold or stomach remedies. Whilst there was growth, it wasn’t coming from the multinationals but from entrepreneurial businesses such as those offering DTC products. There was also a marked increase in consumer healthcare business spin offs from organisations such as GSK (Haleon) and Sanofi.
There were very few new launches in the market which made Hana even more special. A month by month oral contraceptive launched in the UK by HRA Pharma that no longer needs to be prescribed by a GP. Priced at a premium, it is an exciting launch for those women who have more money than time and want to take control of their contraception, especially when a GSK study revealed patients wait on average for 13 days for a GP appt, with 18 million visits for self-treatable conditions.
One other innovation that captured my imagination was the FDA approved, over the counter hearing aids from Bose, a brand you would usually associate with high performance speaker systems and headphones.
We are well aware that sleep is at a premium, the new launch from Oyono features a three phase approach, marrying slow release herbs and melatonin to help you get to sleep, stay asleep and wake up feeling refreshed. Combined with an app, sleep diary and ways to monitor the quality of your sleep, it does feel like we could all benefit with Oyono being passed by regulatory in the UK!
The need for information and importance for it to be credible could not be greater. With self-care comes self-education with organisations facing increased pressure to ensure patients and care givers receive accurate and appropriate guidance when taking their health into their own hands, in particular through the digital space.
68% are willing to pay more if they know the brands they choose take into account animal welfare and sustainable packaging as part of their proposition.
One of the biggest risks to health through menopause is through the cardio-vascular system with 1 in 3 older women dying from cardio-vascular disease or stroke. Awareness and the implementation of a healthy lifestyle and diet can help to avoid that outcome, but little seems to be known about this threat to half the global population. Also astounding was the fact that we live a third of our lives in some form of menopause (pre, peri or menopause itself) which makes you wonder why R&D teams and brands aren’t working harder to support the physical and mental impact this has on us.
And finally, the connection between stress and digestive health is gaining momentum, a study conducted by Elpen Pharmaceuticals identified cortisol as a key marker to gut health. Too little stress and it can cause IBS symptoms, too much and IBS is one of the first symptoms noticed. Not only that but it has been proven that Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can regulate the gut / brain axis. One to consider, the answer is not always in pill form.