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The value of the OTC products market in Poland, understood as sales of medicines and dietary supplements with dietary special medical purposes, amounted to over PLN 14bn in 2019 (pharmacy and non-pharmacy sales). This represented an increase of nearly 7% year-on-year, according to PMR’s latest report entitled “OTC market in Poland 2020. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2020-2025”. In PMR’s opinion, 2020 will be a good year for this market segment, despite the crisis of the entire economy caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The pharmaceutical sector least affected by the coronavirus?
After still solid economic growth in 2019. (4.0% in real terms, YoY), as a result of a widening pandemic, growing uncertainty in the external environment, as well as a worsening internal situation, we expect GDP to fall this year. In the pessimistic scenario, GDP decline in 2020 may even be two-digit.
However, it is no surprise that the pharmaceutical sector is one of the least affected by the current economic situation. According to a survey conducted by PMR in April 2020, the percentage of companies in the pharmaceutical sector that have not only retained but are currently increasing their business is the highest at 17% (compared to other surveyed sectors – average for all sectors – 9%).
The OTC market will grow by 6% in 2020
Therefore, both in the baseline and pessimistic variant, growth in the OTC market will be positive and several percent, according to PMR forecasts. In the case of dietary supplements, sales of products supporting resistance will increase, but with a decrease in consumer purchasing power, sales in other categories may be less dynamic than the year before.
A survey conducted by PMR in April 2020 shows that the more ‘optional’ a product in the pharmaceutical category, the higher the percentage of people declaring that they have given up or reduced their purchases of a given product in the recent period of the epidemic. In addition, patients may turn to cheaper products, which can benefit private labels. In general, we forecast that the dynamics of the entire OTC drugs and dietary supplements market will reach over 6% in 2020. (baseline scenario).