1. Comment
April 27, 2017

NHS goes nationwide with commercial skincare venture

My Trusty, a sunflower oil-based skincare range developed by burns unit scientists at Salisbury District Hospital in the UK, has launched at stores such as Tesco and Superdrug across the UK.

By GlobalData Consumer

My Trusty, a sunflower oil-based skincare range developed by burns unit scientists at Salisbury District Hospital in the UK, has launched at stores such as Tesco and Superdrug across the UK.

The skincare range has proven particularly effective for moisturising and softening the scars on the new skin that forms after burns and plastic surgery. However, it is also marketed as being suitable to treat skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea and acne, or simply to moisturise as part of daily skin maintenance. The products in the range claim to be rich in vitamin F for the repair, renewal and growth of skin.  

Plans are already underway to widen distribution, with My Trusty currently in talks with “several other major retailers”, the company told GlobalData. The range has long been available from independent retailers in the UK and of course, the hospital pharmacy.

My Trusty’s story is similar to countless other consumer goods launches. Experts – in this case skincare research scientists and pharmacists working at the Salisbury hospital in the 1980s – were dissatisfied with products on sale. They developed their own and demand ensued.

What makes this product range special is the fact it is the first commercial venture of its kind from the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). It begs the question of whether NHS expertise could be commercially used in other fields; oral care springs immediately to mind.

More than a third of UK consumers surveyed by GlobalData in Q1 2015 said that scientific claims were ‘important’ or ‘very important’ when making a choice in the personal care aisles, which suggests potential demand for new products that come with an NHS seal of approval.

All profits from sales of My Trusty will go back into NHS patient care, so there is certainly some impetus to commercialise in this way. And it is likely that British consumers would actively choose a product that supports their healthcare service, particularly given the post-Brexit atmosphere.

Neil Wilkinson, advisor to My Trusty, is hopeful that a similar approach could be used for other therapeutic areas: “We know there is a wealth of knowledge and experience within the NHS, and we hope [other NHS trusts] will look at the success of My Trusty and be inspired to use their expertise to create new products for market.”

For more strategic insight into UK consumer issues, take a look at GlobalData’s latest reports.