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Emergency Contraception in the US

US emergency contraception market: $270 million industry in 2012

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2014-02-24 09:41:01 - Emergency Contraception in the US - a new market research report on

Plan B and Next Choice were the only two major brands available without a prescription in the US emergency contraception market. Next Choice led sales in 2010, after its 2009 launch, but Plan B recaptured share in 2011 and gained even more in 2012. Plan B One Step, a one-dose formula, was launched in 2011, and Plan B sells at a higher price point than Next Choice. In addition, Plan B benefits from very high brand recognition; many consumers think of emergency contraception and Plan B interchangeably.

As a relatively new category, emergency contraception experienced massive growth at the beginning of the review period. Growth slowed towards the end of the review period with the maturing of the category and the



introduction of the Watson Pharmaceuticals generic brand Next Choice in 2009, but 2012 current value growth remained constant with 2012 growth, largely due to higher sales for standard brand Plan B.

Although the Obama administration has not yet indicated if and when it intends to reconsider age restrictions on non-prescription emergency contraception access, it is certainly receiving overwhelming pressure from medical and advocacy groups to do so. HHS has never conceded that its unprecedented December 2011 action was political, but there was little doubt from the scientific community that this was the case.

Despite being present for several years now, emergency contraception is still highly controversial. Misinformation, such as the idea that emergency contraception induces an abortion, abounds, and many conservative political groups suggest that OTC emergency contraception availability for younger teenagers will encourage riskier sexual behaviour, despite evidence from paediatric groups that this is not true. HHS issued its decision going into an election year, when the FDAs medically sound advice on the issue may not have been popular with conservative voters. With more political capital available after winning re-election, the administration may be willing to concede to the overwhelming guidance from the FDA and other medical organisations and lift OTC age limits. If so, this would eliminate the need for behind-the-counter stocking of emergency contraception, providing easier access for users of all ages.

Key Headlines

- Current value sales of emergency contraception grow by 8% to reach US$274 million in 2012
- Ongoing fall-out from regulatory actions dominates emergency contraception (EC) news in 2012
- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries increases its current value share to 54% in 2012
- Increased availability will balance private label competition to support forecast growth with a 3% constant value CAGR

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Mike King
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