Monday, January 10, 2022

Refresh Tears : Golden Years Ahead

 Brand: Refresh Tears
Company: Allergan India ( ABBVie )
Brand Analysis Count: #615

Indian Pharmaceutical industry is huge in size estimated to be around $42 Billion. One of the major growth areas in this industry is the OTC ( over the counter) products which can be bought without a prescription. This OTC rush has even created a new category called FMHG - Fast Moving Health Goods.

OTC ophthalmic products is another emerging area in this industry and one of the major brands in the market is Refresh Tears. Those who are using computers for a long time may have never missed this brand which is used as a relief to mild dryness in the eyes. The dry eye strain market is estimated to be around Rs 400 crore and Refresh Tears is a prominent player in the market. Although an OTC product, this product is rarely advertised and often the first purchase is through a doctor prescription. 

With the incident of eye-strain is rampant with the heavy use of mobile and laptops, a whole lot of eye care products have entered the market and most of them are natural/ayurvedic in nature. The market is expected to grow manyfold because digital device usage is only going to grow. So then why is the brand owner is restraining from heavy advertising? One reason I can think of is the role that influencer play in this market. Allergan is a company that plays an important role in the ophthalmology space and usually, a consumer will have the first encounter with the brand through the doctor. 

In my observation, usually, doctors tend to avoid prescribing OTC brands once they are heavily advertised. I have seen this in the case of cough syrups. Now Refresh Tears is sold at a premium of rs 150 and when the doctor prescribes it, the patient will have to buy irrespective of the MRP. In the OTC that is not the case. Once the consumer starts using these brands, then the continuous purchase is done without prescription. So this is a dilemma that many pharma companies face when they put a product under the OTC category. For now, I think the brand owners are happy with the way Refresh Tears are fairing and probably comfortable with the margin too. Another reason is the nature of the product. Eyes are so precious that consumers may ask the opinion of the doctor before going for self-medication.

This brand is in a category that will see huge growth because of the evolving consumer behaviour and digitization and Refresh Tears is all poised to reap the benefit of this natural growth.