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‘Consumerhealth’: A market with potential for the laboratory and the pharmacy.

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The market of the consumer health represented the 26% of the sales in pharmacies in 2012, according to the Asociación para el Autocuidado de la Salud (ANEFP) e IMS.
This sector is configured as the second segment of sales just behind the prescription medicines, positioned at the 61%, and above the generics, that supposed a 13%.
The market of the consumer health contributes to a greater sustainabilityof the health system as it reduces the sanitary expenses: the medical visits at the primary center, the labor absenteeism and the expense on funded treatments, among others. According to ANEFP, every 5 points of market share won by the self-care supposes a save of 1.000 million Euros for the Sistema Nacional de Salud (National Health System).
This market supposes a large future opportunity for the laboratories, but to deal with it successfully it should be taken into account the particularities about the prescription market.

Here are the key elements in the market of the consumer health.

First, the laboratory finds a potential objective public wider in the health management (all those people that want to take care of their health in a specific area) than in the sickness management (only those people that are already have the disease). The range of possibilities expands. According to the last studies done by Hamilton Intelligence, more than the 85% of the population consider that the self-care is the key to prevent sickness (both chronic and minor).
In the second place, the patient becomes a purchaser. It exercises an active role on the purchasing decision. It is the moment to work, not only on the rational benefits, but also on the emotional of the products (quality of life, self-control, …). As reported by last studies done by Hamilton Intelligence, 8 out of 10 individuals clearly understand that the consumer health products provide benefits to their health
The challenge is that the laboratory must be able to localize and give value to their products with a differential benefit operable and communicable that will be able to mobilize in the final purchase not only the purchaser but also the rest of the different targets involved in the decision. Conforming to recent studies done by Hamilton Intelligence, 7 out of 10 consumer health product purchasers consult and/or take advice for the health professional: primary care doctor, nurse, nutritionist and/or pharmacist. 
In the third place and related to the last point, if the laboratory is able to localize that insight(in-depth understanding of the real necessity, latent, unconscious or shameful consumption), the purchaser will have a greater predisposition to pay that product. At the end, who of us would not agree to spend some money in order to ensure a better quality life, prevent some sickness or being more attractive, live more years and being able to enjoy what we like?

The last point, the pharmacist also gets a more active role and becomes the prescriber, resulting each time more necessarily keeping and narrowing the relation with the pharmacy office.

According to studies done by Hamilton Intelligence during the last months, the factors that the pharmacist values higher in order to determine its satisfaction with a laboratory are: in the first place the products, in the second place their commercial conditions and at the last point, their process of purchasing and the command management; being those last two points improvable for the laboratories. 

Therefore, it becomes a challenge for the laboratories betting for the consumer health market providing a differential benefit for the consumer, detecting the price elasticity and working on the link with the health professional (medicals of primary attention, nurses, nutritionist and,  high concrete, pharmacists). 

Júlia Agulló
Jennifer Varón

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