The launch of Zyrtec OTC and its private label equivalent, Private Label Cetirizine, in early 2008 triggered strong incremental growth in the over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medication market in the U.S., a new analysis by NielsenHealth and Wolters Kluwer Health reports.
According to Nielsen and Wolters Kluwer, the OTC oral/nasal allergy market grew by about 30% in the first half of 2008, compared with same period in 2007.
Like Zyrtec OTC, PL Cetirizine had rapid uptake, accounting for approximately one-third of the OTC cetirizine market's patient volume during the spring 2008 allergy season. Zyrtec OTC accounted for the remaining two-thirds of the cetirizine market's patient volume, Nielsen and Wolters Kluwer reported.
Approximately 30% to 50% of PL Cetirizine's business came from patients who are new to the allergy market, according to Nielsen and Wolters Kluwer. Another 40% of PL Cetirizine's patients switched from another medication -- most notably, Private Label Loratidine, Claritin OTC, and Zyrtec OTC.
Like many OTC products, which typically lure consumers with lower prices, PL Cetirizine has offered patients cost savings. Patients who switched to PL Cetirizine from any prescription or OTC allergy medication saved $1.56, on average, according to Nielsen and Wolters Kluwer. Those switching from Zyrtec Rx saved an average of $6.19.