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Article | October 28, 2009
Ready to click the OTC growth switch?
Rx-to-OTC switches tied to economics.
With private-label and generic competitors battling for pieces of the economic pie as patents expire on successful drugs, it’s no wonder pharmaceutical manufacturers would rather fight--and switch--select prescription-only products to over-the-counter offerings. Such switches could push expiration dates further into the future, and trigger innovation in product packaging as manufacturers address package design, labeling/validation/regulatory requirements, and other issues. KlineBlog recently reported, “The top 10 Rx-to-OTC switch brands during 2008 have grown by 5.8% compared with a growth rate of 2.4% for the overall OTC industry for the same time frame.”
Switches to OTC may benefit patients as well, providing options for growing health care and “behind the counter” alternatives to traditional visits to doctor offices, clinics, and hospitals for ongoing treatments.
Package design, labeling requirements, validation, and other issues will challenge packagers making such switches. However, Procter & Gamble’s Prilosec move into the OTC market exemplifies how the packaging change can be executed successfully, be sustainable/environmentally friendly, and be sound from an economic perspective.
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