Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist July 2013 Contents 36 Australian Pharmacist July 2013 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
huge and growing
By Peter Waterman
The vitamins and supplements
market in Australia is valued at
between $1.8 billion and $2 billion
annually with an estimated 7.9 million
Australians buying vitamins, minerals or
supplements in the past six months, the
latest Roy Morgan Research data shows.
Nick Williams, Healthcare Consultant at
Roy Morgan Research, says this figure is
a rise of about 25% since 2008.
'Pharmacy is the preferred channel for
complementary medicines and the
number of people who say they have
bought from a pharmacy in the last six
months has shown around 48% growth
over the same period.
'About 42% of people say they
have bought vitamins, minerals or
supplements through pharmacy in the
past six months, an estimated 7.9 million
people,' he says.
Bruce Annabel, consultant at JR
Pharmacy Services, says that, according
to the Neilsen 2012 Pharmacy
Report, vitamins comprise 20.8% of
non-prescription pharmacy retail sales
and grew by 16.4% over the previous
'This is not universal as some
pharmacies are getting huge growth,'
Mr Annabel said.
'My latest market data 18 months
ago showed pharmacy vitamin sales
at $740m. This is probably $850m to
The Therapeutic Goods Administration
says there are some 12,000
complementary products on its list.
Market analysis group Euromonitor says
vitamins and dietary supplements grew
in Australia by 9% last year to reach
'The products are popular in Australia,
with a high penetration rate amongst
consumers,' Euromonitor says.
'Health and wellness trends in
Australian society and consumers
seeking to pre-emptively avoid falling
ill are two factors encouraging the
supplementation of Australian diets.
'Concerns around the length of time
foodstuffs spend in transit and storage
also supported sales of vitamins and
dietary supplements, as consumers are
concerned that their required nutritional
intake is not being met by diet alone.
for 28% of retail value sales over
2012, while parapharmacies/
drugstores accounted for 10%.
Supermarkets accounted for 20% and
internet retailers accounted for 1%.'
Euromonitor says direct selling
accounted for 10% of vitamins and
dietary supplements sales in Australia.
'With consumers seeking convenience
and value for money when purchasing
vitamins and dietary supplements,
parapharmacies/drugstores and internet
retailers are growing their share of retail
sales,' the group says.
'Due to their large economies of scale
and the convenience of a one-stop
shop, supermarkets will also grow in
popularity as a distribution channel for
vitamins and dietary supplements over
the forecast period.
'The supermarkets channel saw
promotional activity in the last
18 months of the review period, which
has resulted in a weakening of unit
prices in that channel.'
The group said the vitamins segment
grew 7%, to be valued at $527 million in
2012, while sales of dietary supplements
grew by 10% in 2012 to be valued at
Natural Standard database. The Natural
Standard database is an impartial
independent source of evidence-based
information about complementary
and alternative medicines and
'CHC member companies, notably
sponsors, often have material available for
consumers and professionals alike.
'The CHC believes that a holistic,
all-of-industry approach is likely to
achieve better results for pharmacists and
consumers receiving CM-related advice.
To this point we are always looking for
opportunities to improve the quality
of information at hand for consumers
'Collaborative work to provide
CPD accreditation for pharmacists
attending the CHC national conference
(3--5 September in Sydney) and seminars
is an area we are exploring further.
'The CHC promotes awareness that just
because something is 'natural' does
not necessarily mean there is no risk of
adverse reaction or interaction with food,
OTC or prescription medicines. The online
resources mentioned above provide
contraindications information that is very
useful in a pharmacy setting.'
The spokesperson said both the
pharmacy and complementary healthcare
industry have much in common and
much to share.
'Further collaboration and meaningful
outcomes would, I am sure, lead to
enhanced consumer and pharmacist
benefits,' the spokesperson said.
'The CHC welcomes collaborative
opportunities to improve the level
and standard of complementary
medicines information that is delivered
by healthcare professionals to
• TGA list of evaluated registered
complementary medicines at: www.tga.
• CHC: www.chc.org.au; http://moodle.
• APF22: www.psa.org.au
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