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Perrigo Wakes Up UK Sleep Category With Liquid Nytol

Executive Summary

Perrigo is continuing to revitalize the UK's sleep aid category with a Liquid Caramel line extension to its successful Nytol brand. 

Perrigo is looking to capitalize on a recent wellness trend towards improving sleep hygiene that it says is not being exploited by competitors with a new liquid Nytol brand extension.

“At last there is an efficacious non-tablet sleep aid that pharmacists can have in their armory to help sufferers get a better nights’ sleep,” commented Neil Lister, Perrigo’s International vice-president and managing director for the UK and Ireland.

Available in UK pharmacies from September, Nytol Liquid Caramel Flavour was the brand’s “first clinically proven liquid diphenhydramine formula” in the UK, Perrigo pointed out.



Perrigo's New Liquid Caramel Nytol Line Extension

Describing Nytol Liquid as a “game-changing extension to the brand’s current temporary sleep aid portfolio,” the firm said that the product responded to desire for an alternative dosage form among the public, with one in three British consumers saying they don’t like talking tablets.

The launch would be supported by a £1.2m ($1.45m) media marketing investment, Perrigo revealed, with consumer-facing television, out-of-home and digital advertising beginning in October.

Alongside this marketing support, Perrigo said it was continuing its focus on helping pharmacists and pharmacy-staff get over their misconceptions about sleep aids and have better conversations with consumers about their sleep problems.  (Also see "Perrigo Helping Pharmacists Get Over Misconceptions About Sleep Aids With UK Nytol Campaign " - HBW Insight, 25 Jan, 2019.)

In addition to the pharmacy training program launched at the beginning of this year to support the Nytol range, Perrigo has created a guide on how ‘Good Sleep Matters for Good Mental Wellbeing,’ which will be distributed to UK pharmacists with a counter-top engagement tool to help pharmacists have the “right conversations with patients on sleep and to help ascertain what type of sleep they are getting.”

“Our training and patient engagement tools will further aid healthcare professionals to have quality discussions with their customers and enable them to choose the right course of self-care,” added Lister.

Untapped Potential

Explaining the strategy behind the Nytol Liquid launch and campaign, sleep expert Dr Neil Stanley said that, while sleep was a burning issue among British consumers, OTC firms were currently not capitalizing on this wellness trend.

“In the last 37 years I’ve been working on sleep, there’s never been so much chatter about the topic as there is today,” Dr Stanley noted. “But this up until now hasn’t translated into action.”



UK Sleep Expert And 'How To Sleep Well' Author Dr Neil Stanley

One of the issues is a lack of understanding about sleep among the UK population, he pointed out.

“There’s a perception among consumers that sleep tablets are bad,” he noted. “So, changing the dosage form may make the product more attractive to somebody who doesn’t want to take tablet, and the idea of having something soothing a like a ‘night cap of something’ could be appealing.”

Consumers also often misdiagnosed themselves as having something worse than just trouble sleeping, Dr Stanley continued, for example insomnia.

“A lot of people have poor sleep,” he said. “But it’s not insomnia, we’ve got life. Life is happening to us and we just want a bit of help.”

Neither doctors nor pharmacists currently had the requisite knowledge to help people with their sleep problems, Dr Stanley said, due to a lack of time spent on sleep as part of their training.

“Figures show that doctors in their seven years of training get only 1hr 26 mins on sleep and about 1hr 20mins of that is about sleep apnoea,” he explained. “It’s the same for pharmacists. It’s not being unkind to them, but they don’t get trained, so the pharmacist is like a bunny in the headlights.”

Because of this lack of training and knowledge, sleep products were not given the prominence they deserve in pharmacies, Dr Stanley pointed out. “If we would go to the local Boots, I’d defy you to find where the OTC sleep aids are. They're usually down by the foot fungus bit, it’s not a sexy place in the display.”

Dr Stanley therefore welcomed a new focus on sleep from OTC manufacturers and more pharmacy training campaigns on sleep hygiene.

“You have to engage with consumers and let them know that non-drowsy, non-addictive sleep aids exist and that they can help,” he said. “If you don’t believe in the products it’s never going to work and that’s where the pharmacy can play a part, to push sleep more than just this week’s special.”




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