Langzaamaan wordt het duidelijk wie het meest profiteert van de rookverboden die in diverse landen worden afgekondigd. Big Pharma (BP) springt als een bok op de haverkist en kan niet wachten om de afgekondigde rookverboden direct met intensieve campagnes op te volgen. En met succes!
In Italië begon GlaxoSmithKline meteen een campagne van € 5 miljoen om de Italianen de tabak te laten afzweren en hun nicotineproducten te kopen. Typisch, aangezien de Italiaanse minister van Volksgezondheid, die het rookverbod bedacht, juist beschuldigd was van te nauwe banden met de farmaceuten!
In Ierland, waar al eerder een rookverbod van kracht was geworden nam de omzet in nicotine voor alleen al GSK scherp toe met 36%. BP oogst nu eindelijk wat ze heeft gezaaid……
Drug giants to cash in on Italian smoking ban
A €5m Italian marketing campaign for anti-smoking products is being launched by GlaxoSmithKline this week as pharmaceutical groups gear up to cash in where their rivals in the tobacco sector are losing out.
GSK’s drive to boost sales of its NiQuitin nicotine replacement gums and patches is timed to coincide with a new local law restricting smoking in the workplace and comes as Italy prepares on Monday to enforce its ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and cafés. Its rival, Pfizer, is also aiming to boost demand for its products in Europe.
The fresh focus on the smoking strongholds of southern Europe follows a 36 per cent increase in sales of GSK’s products in Ireland since that country introduced a ban on smoking in public places at the end of March. That has led to a sharp rise in attempts to quit and a slump in tobacco sales in the country. GSK plans to follow up with similar campaigns in Spain and Portugal, two other Mediterranean markets traditionally associated with smoking. Quitting campaigns have attracted little interest in the past, but both countries have recently begun discussing smoking bans and an increase in tobacco taxes.
“Smoking is the greatest source of mortality in the developed countries,” said Jack Ziegler, head of GSK’s consumer healthcare division. “We are reacting in these countries just as they are showing changes in attitude towards smoking.”
GSK dominates the UK market for nicotine replacement therapies, with sales of €160m (€229m) a year. The company claims that the chances of successfully quitting smoking are about 5 per cent with no assistance, and double to about 10 per cent with the aid of its products, which provide nicotine without the unhealthy side-effects of tobacco. It rises to 26 per cent when accompanied by help-lines and other support. Pfizer also claims a sharp increase in sales for its Nicoret products in Europe, including Germany where tobacco taxes have recently risen. We have seen very substantial growth, said Rick Rizzo, head of the company’s consumer health products group for Europe.
One risk is that smokers end up becoming as dependent on the nicotine replacement products as they once were on tobacco. Some health campaigners argue that such a shift is nevertheless desirable because it has a smaller impact on health even if the impact on users’ wealth remains considerable.
For those in the UK who want to try to cut costs while boosting their health, the best tactic is to seek a general practitioner’s prescription.
Bron: Financial Times