Competition heats up in hair loss treatment market
Local drugmakers are increasingly competing to sell over-the-counter (OTC) drugs for hair loss treatments.
Dongkook Pharm’s Pansidil and Hyundai Pharm’s Minoxyl have been leading the market. However, three other rivals recently joined the competition with new products. They are JW Shinyak, Tai Guk Pharm, and Dong-A Pharm.
The market leader, Dongkook’s Pansidil, posted more than 6.5 billion won ($6.1 million) in accumulated sales as of the third quarter last year. The accrued ales of Hyundai Pharm’s Minoxyl stood at more than 4 billion won, leading the liquid OTC drugs.
JW Shinyak and Tai Guk Pharm aim to beat Hyundai with Minoxyl-containing products, and Dong-A, to overpower Dongkook with oral drugs.
JW Shinyak’s Rogain, an original product using Minoxidil, is likely to compete with Hyundai Pharm’s Minoxyl. For Rogain, JW Shinyak recently had an exclusive sales deal. Despite the launch in 2006, the drug sales have been sluggish due to Minoxyl’s outperformance.
JW Shinyak is seeking a turnaround by transforming the liquid of the product into a foam, improving the inconvenience that the liquid flows down to the forehead.
The user can apply the foam only in the necessary parts without the liquid falling to the face. The foam is absorbed into the scalp and dries quickly, which distinguishes it from rivals, the company said.
Tai Guk Pharm released Mobarin Gel, a gel-type product containing Minoxidil.
Like the foam-type one, the user can apply the gel directly on the scalp, and there is almost zero stickiness, Tai Guk Pharm said.
Mobarin is also easy to carry because it comes in a tube. The product comes in two versions, for female and for male, which is a strong point, the company said.
Dong-A Pharm’s Capillus capsule uses the same ingredient with Pansidil, the market leader. Capillus contains calcium pantothenate, keratin, L-cystine and double yeast. However, its efficacy and number of doses are the same with Pansidil.
The number of hair loss patients increased to 212,916 in 2016 from 203, 305 in 2012, according to the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service (HIRA).
By age groups, hair loss was most common in people in their 30s, with 26.9 percent of them having a hair loss problem. People in their 20s came next with 25.4 percent having a hair loss, followed by those in their 40s with 23 percent.
Prescription drugs to treat hair loss include pinasteride and dutasteride.
However, people prefer OTC drugs due to concerns about adverse effects of prescription drugs such as sexual dysfunction in men and development of a deformed child in pregnant women.