Nicholas Hall's North American Conference

New Jersey 2019

Nicholas Hall held its North American Consumer Healthcare Conference in Morristown, New Jersey from 26-27 June 2019 in association with Everything Health. The event included attendees from many companies and organisations, including Bayer, CHPA, Google, GSK, Perrigo, J&J and many more. 

The event covered new areas of potential growth in the OTC sector, technological innovations that will drive the CHC industry forward and innovative new products and business model ideas. Despite a discussed lack of Rx-to-OTC switch in N America in recent years, panellists, speakers and delegates spoke optimistically of the future of the industry, with exciting new areas of growth, such as the CBD market, explored in depth.

Nicholas Hall began the day with his keynote address, in which he discussed recent problematic trends and global sales in the CHC sector, such as the underperformance of the retail market, underlying negativity in the industry, fragmentation and the lack of switch in North America. However, he then moved on to examine 15 key areas that have the potential for significant future growth and may help to pull the industry out of this slump. 

Later on, Viraj Patwardhan gave an insight into the ways digital innovation can enhance consumer experience, based on the development of certain programmes and services by Jefferson University’s DICE group. He compared healthcare to banking and discussed the aim of making healthcare as simple as going to your ATM rather than having to deal with the bank directly. Programmes developed at Jefferson include myJeffHealth, a mobile app to make hospital visits easier and more seamless for customers by providing maps to hospital departments, parking locations, places to eat nearby and other important information.

Day 2 of the conference began with a presentation from Bernie Simone focusing on changes in consumer healthcare, new approaches and integrated technologies. Macro-factors influencing the growth of the CHC industry include an ageing population experiencing more chronic illness and the dramatic changes in the consumer journey. Three important sources of industry growth are:

1. Organic growth

2. Rx-to-OTC switches (recent slowdown)

Finally, Keith Aqua presented the “Public Health Argument for CBD in a Structure / Function Environment”. He discussed the very nuanced endocannabinoid system, and its remarkable safety profile: huge doses can be taken with no negative effects. In addition, he explored numerous neurological bene ts of CBD, including alleviating psychosis, anxiety, depression, PTSD and post-concussion syndrome. It can also be used to reduce oxidative stress, to treat insomnia and help restore circadian rhythm and to reduce inflammation and pain. Among other benefits, there is no evidence indicative of abuse or addiction with CBD.

Day 2 also ended with a panal talk on CBD from Shane Nance, who passionately expressed the need to grow the CBD category as it is a “product that really works and works on everyone”. He explained the difference between CBD oil and hemp oil, stating that the latter contains no CBD and therefore does not have the same therapeutic benefits as CBD oil. He also mentioned some of the benefits of CBD as an adaptogen, including its pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. Despite its possible benefits, however, there is a need to convince consumers because of bad reviews and some companies releasing products with little to no CBD (which do not have an effect). For those still confused or with questions about CBD and the cannabis industry, the website has been established.