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Insights on Cold and Flu Trends

Insights on Cold and Flu Trends

AS featured in our January / February edition of the Pharma Le Chéile brochure our insights focused on Cold & Flu season. This category has seen a lot of disruption over the last two years, with a dissolution of traditional Flu in winter.

Cold & Flu remedies can act as a first line of treatment for Covid-19 cases according to the HSE, meaning milder presentations of Covid-19 can be treated with the traditional cold and flu medication to ease symptoms.

The ATC class N02B makes up products that deal with Cold & Flu remedies and are the basis for our analysis of this category. The class N02B is primarily made up of over the counter cold and flu products. Well known lines in this category include Nurofen, Paracetamol, and Calpol. We have also looked at face masks over the prior 2 years as part of the Cold & Flu range to see how sales here have performed.

In the past 12 months, Masks sales have more than tripled. Analysing face mask sales against confirmed Covid cases monthly, we can see a close correlation between Covid cases and mask sales in retail pharmacy settings. This indicates rising Covid case numbers can lead to higher mask sales.

Overall, the market for Cold & Flu remedies has grown by 1% in the prior year. This likely reflects the decline in the traditional flu season, in conjunction with the Covid-19 pandemic. However, adult pain relief makes up two-third’s of the overall Cold and Flu market, while pediatric lines make up just over 10% of sales in Cold and Flu.

While pain relief medication for adults has grown by 12%, general pain relief for children is down 40% year on year.