Ranbaxy Laboratories will hit the over-the-counter products market by the end of this month.
The all-India launch will be done through a separate business division, Ranbaxy Consumer Healthcare, which will market a number of over-the-counter (OTC) products including a number of herbal and nutraceutical products.
The company is likely to make a formal announcement of its foray into OTC products and its branding and marketing strategy within two weeks.
Ranbaxy’s new OTC division will be headed by Atul Malhotra, who joined from HLL.
The company’s current portfolio of OTC products includes cough and cold and vitamins and other products like ‘Fenules’ (iron capsules), ‘Revital’ (ginseng), garlic pills in the nutraceutical segment apart from Pepfiz and Gesdyp in the antacid segment.
Further, there is also a plan to convert a few prescription (Rx) products into over-the-counter product to be made freely available without the doctors prescription. The plan to convert some of the prescription drugs into OTC products was also indicated by Ranbaxy chairman and managing director, DS Brar at an investors meet held earlier this year.
The aim is to reach out to the consumer through an appropriate distribution system covering chemists and select Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) outlets while continuing communication and promotion to doctors, for these switched brands.
According to company sources, the company has already sounded off its various channel partners including chemists, of its plan to hit the market by the month end.
The final branding and the number of products to be launched is still not known and the company official declined to comment. However, the official said that there is a no definite plan as to how many prescription drugs will be converted into over the counter form and sold through the FMCG channel.