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.

Woman and child 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.

Consumer R&D investment

  • £243m

    In 2016, we invested £243m in core R&D.

  • 13%

    of Consumer Healthcare sales were generated from innovation launched within the last three years.

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 Organization.