Pandemic Response In US Consumer Health Market: OTC Pain Relief And Cough/Cold Purchases
Pain relief product sales grew 27% and upper respiratory sales 35% for the week ended 7 March as consumers respond to COVID-19, according to Nielsen data noted in a Jefferies report on consumer health purchasing trends. Private label market share is up slightly, while OTC purchases continue primarily in conventional stores.
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J&J is prioritizing Tylenol production on caplets easiest to manufacture to maximize output as it manufactures the line around the clock, says CEO Alex Gorsky. First-quarter US OTC sales soared 35% as consumers stockpiled due to COVID-19, though the pandemic led J&J to downgrade its 2020 outlook.
Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid encourage social distancing by offering OTC drugs and vitamins in drive-through services previously limited to Rx drugs windows. Walgreens also is restricting purchases of some items to prevent shortages.