James Dudley Management

James Dudley Management

The Future for Non-Prescription Pharmaceuticals in France - 2004

Highlights of this Important New Report

Non-prescription pharmaceuticals in France will split into a two-track market when large sections of it lose reimbursement in 2000 and 2001. One part, driven by self-medication will show growth. The other will go into decline as prescription driven demand begins to dry up. (See graph 1)

So says a major new strategic analysis of French non-prescription pharmaceuticals prepared by James Dudley Management in collaboration with a number of senior industry managers.

Well over two thirds of non-prescription brand sales are derived from reimbursable products available on a doctor’s prescription. Non-prescription pharmaceuticals account for about a quarter of prescription sales in France and a third of the total pharmaceutical market They are therefore an important part of the industry.

Over half of French companies have reimbursable non-prescription products in their portfolios and roughly half of these are reliant upon them for sizeable parts of their profit streams.

Annual turnover of the non-prescription market is expected to decline by $750 million by 2004. This, however, is confined to a narrow group of categories that are concentrated into a small group of companies. These include varicose vein and other circulatory products, minerals (especially calcium and magnesium) and some gastro-intestinal products.

While some respiratory products are also under threat from de-reimbursement, sales losses will probably be picked up by self-medication and manufacturers will be able to obtain more economic prices and be free to advertise their products to the consumer, once they are outside the reimbursement system.

The areas of the market most likely to suffer from de-reimbursement largely reflect those which have been showing declining sales and are the major cause of the overall poor performance of the market in recent years.

Once the market has adjusted to de-reimbursement, shareholder value will rise in the sector on the back of better prices and stronger consumer demand, says James Dudley the principal author of the report.

Analysis of company portfolios indicates that a certain amount of industry restructuring will be inevitable.

The report ‘The Future for Non-Prescription Pharmaceuticals in France’ shows that there is an underlying attractiveness for the market, especially for categories that are more easily switched to self- medication.

Attractiveness of the French non-prescription pharmaceutical markets to 2004 shows that:

  • Categories in OTC self-medication sectors are showing the greatest growth attractiveness to 2004, With 17.1% of OTC business generated by high growth categories compared to the total market with 2.2%.
  • Static and negative growth categories account for 57.4% of the total non-prescription market compared to 38.7% in the OTC sector alone.
  • Moderate to high growth categories account for only 16.4% of the total non-prescription market compared to 33.2% in the OTC sector alone.

Table 1
Growth Attractiveness of the French non-prescription Market
1999 - 2004


Categories % Total non-prescription French Business %French Business - OTC Sector
High growth 2.2 17.1
Moderate growth 14.2 16.1
Weak growth 26.2 28.1
Zero growth 20.8 8.2
Negative growth 36.6 30.5

Source: © James Dudley Management, Future for French Non-Prescription Pharmaceuticals, January 2000


The report, ‘The Future for Non-prescription Pharmaceuticals in France’, covers in depth analysis of:

  • The overall attractiveness of the French non-prescription market and effects of future change drivers on growth.
  • The six main categories: - circulatory products, dietary supplements, respiratory products, gastro-intestinal products, skincare and pain relief.
  • The effects of change on the distribution channel system.
  • The brand structure of the market including innovatory trends and Rx to OTC switches.
  • The impact of de-reimbursement on the major companies serving the non-prescription sector.


Graph 1 : Two Track Market - French Non-Prescription Pharmaceuticals 1999 - 2005 Source: © James Dudley Management, Future for French Non-Prescription Pharmaceuticals, January 2000 Details of the Report:


Title: The Future for Non-Prescription Pharmaceuticals in France
Published: January 2000
  : Over 260 pages with over 200 graphs, tables and figures
Price: £1,295 / US$ 2,719

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