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Australian Journal of Pharmacy : September 2006
cover story AN AJP/SANOFI-AVENTIS ADVERTORIAL Telfast: the value of a big brand In an increasingly crowded and competitive market, the Telfast (fexofenadine) brand will continue to stand out as the consumer’s number one non-sedating antihistamine choice and pharmacy’s best category partner W ITH the recent introduction of generic alternatives, the market for non-sedating antihistamines in 2006 is more crowded and competitive than ever before. This leads to better deals for pharmacies and their customers, but also creates opportunities for strong brands. ‘Customers tend to gravitate to brands they know and trust in a crowded and mature market,’ says Seona Wallace, senior product manager Telfast. ‘Strong brands like Telfast stand out in a crowd because consumers are clear about what they stand for and confident about the product’s attributes, especially the many hayfever sufferers who are loyal to the brand.’ Market leader Ms Wallace speaks from a position of market strength. According to Aztec data, fexofenadine remains the dominant non-sedating antihistamine (NSAH) with 44 per cent of the market (compared to loratadine at 28 per cent) and Telfast stands out as market leader.1 This is perhaps not surprising considering market research commissioned by sanofi-aventis demonstrates that more consumers have used Telfast in the last twelve months than any other brand of hayfever medication.2 The market for NSAHs is mature and Telfast 120mg has been able to demonstrate that it is better at relieving the hayfever symptoms of itchy, watery or red eyes, as well as reducing nasal congestion3 compared to its closest market competitor, loratadine 10mg. Further, it has a non-drowsy profile unlike the next nearest NSAH competitor, cetirizine.4 And because it is a mature market, consumers have a high level of awareness of their disease and the solutions available to help their situation. ‘Consumers have developed loyalty to their preferred brand—they know what they want and Telfast has been integral in developing that brand loyalty as well as growing the market,’ says Ms Wallace. 16 ? THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY VOL.87 SEPTEMBER 2006 Brand versus generic Respected pharmacy business consultant and commentator, Bruce Annabel, noted that branded products still make up the majority of sales in ‘the great majority of community pharmacies. The reason for this is the loyalty customers have to brands.’ Mr Annabel, who is partner-in-charge of pharmacy services at Johnston Rorke, pointed to the grocery sector where the likes of Woolworths and Coles have aggressively promoted new private label brands. Yet despite this, the share of private label sales only make up about 15 per cent of the total market. ‘And that’s in a situation where there’s no aggressive substitution efforts,’ he underlined. ‘In a financial sense, the key element of category management is to drive up gross profit dollars and, in particular, gross profit dollars per linear metre. The two ‘Act fast Telfast’