Compared with immunity, gut health or cognition, pain is not an indication that’s often treated with food supplements or even discussed in industry media. So why did PharmaLinea decide to develop a product to tackle this common condition?
Jernej Klopčič, the company’s Business Development Director, commented: “We realised that the market potential was substantial. It’s an area with less competition in the supplement segment; yet, it’s a highly prevalent issue worldwide."
"To give you a few figures: low back pain lasting at least a week affects 25% of the world’s population, and more than 80% will experience low back pain once in their life. It’s the second most frequent symptom-related reason for physician visits after the common cold.”
“Back pain is almost always treated with analgesic drugs,” he continues: “However, these sometimes have a negative connotation as their side-effects can lead to dependence. They should not be taken for long periods of time."
"Coupled with the overall trend of consumers searching for supplements as alternatives to pharmaceuticals, it’s not surprising that demand for nutraceuticals is growing significantly. In the past 5 years, Google searches for “pain supplement” increased by 68% … and the ongoing pandemic will likely have an additional effect with so many people working from home.”
Matevž Ambrožič, Marketing and PR Director at PharmaLinea, goes on to discuss consumer demand: “According to Euromonitor’s Health and Nutrition Survey in 2020, joint and muscle pain is high on the list of conditions for which consumers are dissatisfied with their current treatment, and second on the list of those for which they’re seeking new treatment options. With nearly 50% of consumers looking for alternative products and solutions, only obesity/weight management ranked higher.”
The proposed reasons for this are as follows:
- the condition is not easily addressed because of the difficulty of removing the underlying causes
- COVID-19 has increased the risk of such issues occurring (inadequate home office furniture)
- existing solutions rarely effect a lasting change, so consumers constantly search for new products.
“Pain being poorly managed is a crucial piece of information for companies looking to launch new products in the supplement space. It’s a smart move to base new product launch decisions on solid — and current — consumer need data."
"Taking sales figures into account is also important, but end-user sentiment is a step ahead, a look into the future. When it comes to sales during a crisis or times of economic hardship, pain relief is also top of mind for consumers."
"For instance, IQVIA showed that OTC pain relief (supplements included) was one of the most significantly growing categories in retail pharmacy during the March 2020 peak of stockpiling before lockdowns,” notes Matevž.
PharmaLinea’s private label solution, >Your< Back Pain Capsules, addresses the neuronal damage causing back pain. Maja Orešnik, Science and Research Director at PharmaLinea, explains the formulation’s foundations: “For neuropathic pain, which is very common in low back conditions, analgesic drugs are often unable to provide effective relief."
"Currently available supplements are commonly based on herbal commodities with no solid scientific background. They are mostly aimed at joint discomfort and very few target neuropathic pain.”
“If any specific claim is made, it’s generally worded in terms of symptom relief and not the root cause. This is why we developed >Your< Back Pain Capsules as a neuroregenerative and pain-relieving formulation."
"The key advantage is that the product is designed to target neuronal damage — the underlying cause of neuropathic pain — instead of just symptom relief,” she adds.
“It’s based on Qspine, a proprietary complex developed in-house by PharmaLinea using an extensive R&D process. Its composition is designed to provide neuroregenerative properties through a well-defined mechanism of action, unlike typical herbal products that simply rely on historic use."
"We believe the product presents a great solution for many users in search of safe and effective alternatives that can be taken long-term and allow them to avoid drugs.”
>Your< Back Pain Capsules are already gaining some traction in the market, according to Klopčič: “A client of ours has already launched the product in the European Union and the reception by consumers was outstanding."
"Both the positive feedback in terms of pain-relieving properties and sales figures have encouraged us to invest into further scientific substantiation of the product.”