UK – Brian McNamara, the CEO of GSK Consumer Healthcare (a Joint Venture between GSK and Pfizer) has been appointed as CEO Designate of the new, listed Consumer Healthcare company which will result from the proposed demerger of Consumer Healthcare from GSK in 2022.

As set out at GSK’s Investor Update on 23 June 2021, subject to approval from shareholders, the separation of Consumer Healthcare will be by way of a demerger in mid-2022 of at least 80% of GSK’s holding to shareholders.

The company will have a strong portfolio of brands including Sensodyne, Voltaren, Panadol and Centrum and will hold category leadership positions and major sales presences in the US and China.

Brian joined GSK from Novartis in 2015, where he was head of the Over the Counter (OTC) division. He has been a driving force behind two successful Joint Ventures, first between GSK and Novartis and more recently with Pfizer to create a new world-leading Consumer Healthcare business.

Consumer healthcare prospect

The rise of consumerism in health care has the potential to transform the entire sector. Health care is evolving from a sick-care market treating people who are already sick to a consumer-driven health market, where consumers take control of their health and wellness decisions.

There are three main factors driving this shift. To begin with, the costs of being sick are escalating, creating a crisis for consumers who have not yet switched to more active management of their own health.

Secondly, new technologies are empowering consumers; multiple solutions such as wearables and virtual care such as video calls with doctors are becoming more mainstream, allowing consumers to find alternatives to the traditional health care approach.

Finally, governments and payers are encouraging this change, because it reduces costs through preventive care and the cheaper management of chronic conditions.

The rise of consumerism in health care offers a new outsized opportunity in direct-to-consumer categories. January’s announcement from Amazon, JPMorgan, and Berkshire Hathaway clearly heightens this pressure.

This groundbreaking news confirms that health and wellness are major aspects of consumerism’s future direction.

Recent innovations include foods that offer health benefits, for example, better digestion and healthier skin, and wearables that track fitness activity and sleep patterns.

A future market of services and offerings will allow consumers to take charge of managing their vital signs, behavioral health, and wellness.

This steep growth is, understandably, gaining the attention of different types of organizations from traditional players (pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, doctors) to retailers and consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs).

With the addition of Brian McNamara into GSK’s consumer healthcare division, the company is set to lift off and venture into the global consumer healthcare market.