Pharmacy advice for digestive health patients


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Devika Dileepkumar, expert marketing executive for Nexium Control at GSK, shares her expert tips with pharmacy teams on what advice to give their patients suffering from digestive health issues such as heartburn and acid reflux…

Pharmacy teams play an important role in frontline management of frequent heartburn (heartburn occurring more than once a week), on account of their unique and trusted position. With 48% of consumers agreeing that a pharmacist’s recommendation is important when making a decision on heartburn treatment[1], pharmacists and their teams play an important role in frontline management of heartburn and acid reflux.

61% of heartburn sufferers express dissatisfaction in their current treatment[2], so it is important that pharmacies are able to offer efficient products to ensure patients are being treated effectively and to a standard that both the pharmacist and consumer are happy with.

As the UK’s number one heartburn product for 24-hour protection[3], we recognise that we have a responsibility to continue providing pharmacists and their teams with the support and guidance to help their patients in providing long-lasting protection for frequent heartburn. This includes information and advice on our GSK Health Partner portal, as well as the development of products that directly cater to the needs of consumers.

In-store fixtures

It is important that the range is clearly segmented to help consumers to understand the benefits of different product options available. There’s a vast array of heartburn remedies, ranging from long-lasting one-dose-a-day treatments to repeated dosing with short-acting products.

In store fixtures need to have a clear layout, ensuring consumers experience is not hindered by an overwhelming arrangement of treatments, as well as information to educate on awareness of PPIs and offering assurance of effective treatment and support to best manage their symptoms.

Consumer trends

Change in lifestyle and obesity

In the last 30 years the prevalence of adult obesity has risen from 15% in 1993 to 28% in 2019[4] and in England in 2018 the majority of adults (63%) were overweight or obese[5]. Living with excess weight puts people at greater risk of heartburn[6] on account of additional weight carried on the waist negatively impacting the usual functions of the stomach. It’s important that pharmacists are therefore advising sufferers to enjoy a healthy diet, manage their stress and improve their wellbeing, alongside long- lasting heartburn treatments such as Nexium Control.

Offering the right product mixture

Nexium Control currently leads the PPI subcategory with a 74.2% share of PPI.  Pharmacists need to offer the right mixture of long-lasting and protective options, in addition to the faster-acting and more reactive treatments to meet the needs of frequent and occasional heartburn sufferers respectively. Offering the right balance alongside education will help ensure patients can be effectively treated.

For all other information and assets, please visit GSK Health Partner portal.


[1] IPSOS Healthcare | Nexium Control KPI Tracking Wave 3 Report

[2] GSK Data on File. Nexium Control U&A, Forbes 2013

[3] 2022 NielsenIQ data, value, units, Indigestion Remedies, PPIs, 12 w/e 01/01/22 in Great Britain Total Coverage

[4] Obesity Statistics – House of Commons Library ( page 5 accessed 04.02.22

[5] Part 3: Adult overweight and obesity – NHS Digital



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Current Issue June 2023

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