As recognition and reputation are the most important factors driving brand sales in Mexico, Bristol-Myers Squibb de México led the Mexico analgesics market with an 18% share of sales in value terms in 2012. This was due to its Tempra brand, which includes Tempra, Tempra Forte and Tempra ES3. Second in 2012 were Grupo Roche Syntex de Mexico (due to sales of Flanax) and Bayer de México (with Aspirina and Cafiaspirina), both with 15% shares of value sales. All these companies have been in the market for many years and are well-supported by advertising campaigns and enjoy significant brand-loyalty, as Mexican consumers turn to well-established and trusted analgesics brands, making it difficult for new brands to alter the status quo.
Analgesics grew at a moderate rate of 1% in current value terms in 2012, due to the maturity of the category. Only a couple of years ago, in 2010, the category saw an important increase due to new health regulation prohibiting the sale of antibiotics without a prescription. This new legislation led Mexicans who had previously self-medicated with antibiotics to first try using OTC medication such as analgesics to cure their illness. If these products did not cure their symptoms they would go to a doctor to obtain a prescription for antibiotics.
The prospects for OTC products in general, and for analgesics in particular, will be highly influenced by demographics in the years to come. Mexico's population, as in many emerging countries, is ageing; women passed from having many children to having only two children within a couple of decades. This, combined with increasing life expectancy, will create a larger group of people aged 60 and over; expected to be 27% of the population in 2050, compared with 9% in 2012. As inflammation and pain are common concerns amongst the elderly, analgesics is likely to experience strong growth over the forecast period, and innovation will tend to satisfy the particular needs of elderly people. An example of this trend is the launch of analgesics marketed for arthritis pain.
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