Consumer healthcare research

GSK products are built around science, and it is this innovation that is vital to our Consumer Healthcare business. It helps us develop products that are differentiated from competitor products and that keep pace with changes in the marketplace and consumer needs.

Mother and her daughter shopping

While development timelines are generally shorter for consumer healthcare products than for medicines, the regulatory requirements for testing and approval of our over-the-counter (OTC) products are rigorous. We are using science to deliver benefits to consumers, increase our speed to market, and create products that our consumers value.

Our R&D teams work within one of our four key categories of Wellness, Skin Health, Nutrition and Oral Health and have deep expertise in these areas. For example, we are one of the largest oral healthcare researchers in Europe, and we conduct extensive research on new treatments to prevent dentine hypersensitivity, tooth erosion, and cavities; improving denture care and cleansing, maintaining gum health and providing new scientific insights to help consumers maintain optimal oral health practices and behaviors - from infancy to the older years.

For many years we have led the way in research around potassium nitrate which is used it in our Sensodyne toothpaste to address sensitivity. Our scientists have now figured out how to ensure its stability and efficacy in a mouth wash which works inside the tooth to soothe exposed nerves. Sensodyne mouthwash is the first clinically proven potassium nitrate mouthwash to address tooth sensitivity.

Working from six research centres throughout the world, our researchers are seeking to identify and develop sustained innovation in all our categories and regions.

We are also focusing on developing new products to better meet the needs of emerging markets. In India, we have developed new formulations of nutritional products like Horlicks that are specially suited to the dietary needs of people in the country. Our Women’s Horlicks is the first health drink in India with the complete list of micronutrients recommended for women by the World Health Organisation.

Transparency and collaboration

Our scientists publish and present their key findings in leading scientific journals and at major global and regional healthcare congresses. These are the recognized forums from which scientists present new advances, discuss emerging scientific questions, and highlight leading innovations to their peers, professional communities, and the health and science media. Our scientists have published in leading journals including the International Dental Journal, the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, the Journal of Smoking Cessation, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Nature Materials, and Pharmaceutical Research. Our research has been presented at the annual meetings of the International Association of Dental Research, the FDI Annual World Dental Congress, and the Society of Investigative Dermatology.

We also understand that science should not happen just within our labs. Relationships with academia and external technology centres of excellence are vital for innovation. We are keen to explore potential scientific collaboration opportunities. We have an Open Innovation programme where we engage with researchers around the world – inventors, scientists and academic research institutions. We want to work in partnership to commercialise the next big change in product development.