New products are the lifeblood of the consumer products business, and that’s as true in the over-the-counter drug category as in any other sector. As part of its push to become a bigger force in nonprescription medicines, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare has put a premium on research and ­development.


GlaxoSmithKline, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, Colin Mackenzie, nonprescription medicines, O-T-C medicines, Rx-to-O-T-C, R&D, pharmacists, GSK










































































































































































































































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For GSK, differentiation through science is cutting-edge

June 24th, 2012

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – New products are the lifeblood of the consumer products business, and that’s as true in the over-the-counter drug category as in any other sector. As part of its push to become a bigger force in nonprescription medicines, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare has put a premium on research and ­development.

“We are banking on differentiation through science as our cutting edge,” said Colin Mackenzie, president of the division’s North American operations. “We intend to leverage the strong R&D resources we have in place to deliver products that have a clear scientific advantage.”

GSK Consumer Healthcare has established R&D centers in the United States and the United Kingdom devoted specifically to O-T-Cs. And it has recently opened similar facilities in India and China.

“These major additions to our R&D resources have allowed us to focus on such individual product categories as traditional O-T-C medicines, oral care products, nutritionals and skin health, plus use our R&D resources to support unique geographic opportunities,” Mac­kenzie noted.

Although the pace of prescription-to-O-T-C switches has slowed of late, they remain an area of great interest.

“Rx-to-O-T-C switches offer a tremendous opportunity to increase consumer access to proven therapies that have been available for years in a prescription setting,” said Mac­kenzie. “This increase in access and availability in an ­O-T-C setting can have significant public health benefits.

“For that very reason, GSK Consumer Healthcare has been a global leader in Rx-to-O-T-C switches. We have ongoing programs to continually evaluate and support those candidates that meet our internal standards and work closely with regulatory agencies to develop clinical programs that clearly identify the benefits and potential risks of an Rx-to-O-T-C switch.”

When launching such products, or indeed any O-T-C, the company is eager to work in partnership with community pharmacists.

“Pharmacists — as trusted providers of care — are uniquely positioned to increase patients’ understanding of their medications and medical conditions,” noted Mackenzie. “For many consumers, the pharmacist is the trusted adviser on choosing the over-the-counter product that will best meet their needs or those of their family.

“At GSK we understand and appreciate the role that pharmacists play in the delivery of health care. We actively engage with pharmacists to ensure they have the tools and information that help them to deliver counseling to their patients.

“For example, we have launched special programs to educate pharmacists on how to support consumers who want to quit smoking. As the focus on connecting the front of the store with the pharmacy continues, GSK will be in the forefront of partnering with our retailers to deliver the best and most appropriate solutions.”

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