Friday, November 17, 2023

It's time for the 'Sell painkillers, not vitamins' metaphor to die

There’s a ubiquitous piece of startup advice: “Sell painkillers, not vitamins.” With painkillers, the story goes, you fix something that’s been bothering the customer immediately. With vitamins, all you have to offer is some vague future wellness benefit. Through this lens, a lot of product ideas are bad businesses because they are vitamins. But is it true?

I think there’s a message here that a lot of engineer types interested in creating a product need to hear. Working on something new, it’s easy to get in a bubble where the only thing that matters is the thing you’re trying to improve, and it can be shocking to encounter people who don’t seem to care, even when your offering could dramatically improve their lives. Even a lot of sales types, when asked to “sell me this pen,” will immediately launch into a spiel on the product’s features, instead of engaging with the customer’s actual desires.

But all that is a little deeper than the words “painkillers, not vitamins.” And so what actually results from people applying this slogan is:

  1. Debates about whether a given product is a vitamin or painkiller
  2. Declaration that some company is doomed because they “sell vitamins
  3. People talking themselves out of attempting “vitamin ideas” at all

Simple models help us evaluate ideas. But this metaphor acts less as a model to guide decision-making and more as a thought-stopper, something that prevents a lot of useful products from getting built. Citing this analogy, Ben Horowitz once told me and a group of friends “You wouldn’t pay if someone built a 2x-better way of brushing your teeth.” But at that time, I was interested in optimizing my morning routine, and would have loved Andreesen-Horowitz to fund exactly that. Something that makes your web browser 2x faster while using less battery? No; vitamin, not painkiller. Automating payback of student loans? No; vitamin, not painkiller. And my first company, something that fixes bugs in your program for you? Get out! Vitamin, not painkiller!

In all of these cases, the entrepreneur would have been better served by being given an actual model of customer behavior to evaluate potential plans. Browsing the examples above, this advice more often than not serves as a way for the speaker to feel smug in demeaning someone’s plan without engaging in the real question of customer profiles and how to reach them.

So maybe the metaphor has been misused, but it seems a bit extra to ask people to stop using a useful metaphor just because someone finds it annoying. If you talk about how painkillers outsell vitamins, won’t that help people build more useful products by focusing on the problem rather than the benefit?


And not just because of this slogan’s tendency to outcompete useful thinking.

It is also literally wrong.

Sell literal vitamins, not literal painkillers

The metaphor rests on several supposed facts about the actual vitamin and painkiller markets.

  • Vitamins are cheap, painkillers are expensive.
  • Vitamins are about vague future wellness benefits, painkillers make the problem go away NOW.
  • People go out of their way for painkillers, but endlessly procrastinate on vitamins.
  • And because of these, painkillers far outsell vitamins.

And every single one of these is wrong.

Vitamins are cheap, painkillers are expensive? Well, here’s the painkiller section of my local CVS.

And here’s my local GNC.

At $59.99 for 30 capsules of the Vitapak Program, that’s $2.00 per capsule. Contrast that with the $0.05 to $0.325 per capsule of the painkillers at CVS.

That was the woman’s version. Let’s look at the men’s versions:

If you zoom in really hard on the Strength Vitapak, it says “14 day supply.” In a $79.99 box. That’s $5.71 per day of vitamins. You can buy an entire 24-caplet box of acetaminophen at that price.

Perhaps I’m being unfair comparing a discount drug store to a notoriously expensive chain. But that’s part of the point. What’s the painkiller equivalent of GNC? Somewhere where pain-free enthusiasts will gather to optimize their lifestyle with the latest and greatest way to avoid pain? The chiropractor?

Still, we can go down-market for a more apples-to-apples comparison, showcasing vitamins sold to everyday people instead of fitness nuts. Here’s the vitamin section of my CVS:

These range from $0.061 to $0.433 per tablet, higher in aggregate than the painkillers. And a lot of people consume multiple kinds of vitamins every single day.

Onto the next claim. Vitamins are about vague wellness benefits, eh? So, uh, have you seen actual vitamin advertisements?

Of course, this is a selection. Most vitamin advertisements basically just say “Pure vitamin!” In contrast, about all of the painkiller ads are of that form. I really tried to find good painkiller advertisements to compete, but mostly couldn’t. Here’s the best I found.

Maybe I cheated a bit. I already knew where to look for good vitamin ads, probably because I’ve been blasted with them all my life while the painkillers sat on the discount shelves. On the other hand, I cheated harder for painkillers, as the Tylenol ad is a famous one from 1975. It turns out there are a lot of ways to sell vitamins, while the painkillers are limited to “pure extra-strength aspirin,” “cures headaches,” and “fewer side effects.” Can you imagine someone writing a book titled “The Acetaminophen Advantage?”

Then we have the claim that people are more eager to take painkillers than vitamins. I would expect this to be true on aggregate, as a pure guess. But still we have medical providers complaining about patients who refuse pain meds and even laws to help people refuse them more. Googling for “vitamin refusal” gives me people who don’t want their babies injected with Vitamin K after birth. Googling for “vitamin procrastination” gives me people debating whether multivitamins can cure procrastination. I finally tried “can’t get mom to take vitamins.” Instead I got “How do I get Grandmother to stop taking supplements.”

And so, do painkillers really outsell vitamins?

Based on the things above, I was pretty sure the answer would be no. But even still I was shocked.

I collected sales numbers for an exhaustive list of vitamins, minerals and painkillers; over 40 chemicals in total. My methodology and data are in the appendix.

The result?

Not even close.

Vitamin and mineral sales total $46.723 billion, while over-the-counter painkillers total $17.232 billion. Vitamins and minerals outsell painkillers by over 2.5x.

If you add prescription painkillers but not prescription vitamins, then the painkillers do win out in my calculations, at $48.322 billion. But I think over-the-counter painkillers are the intended comparison, as the articles spouting the vitamins vs. painkillers metaphor usually talk about pills for relieving headaches rather than addictive substances given to cancer patients. Also, my estimates for vitamins and minerals actually omit a few that I couldn’t find numbers for, while the opioids market has probably shrunk since the size was reported. All is spelled out in the appendix.

So if you want to make money: sell vitamins, not painkillers.


By analyzing how the “vitamins vs. painkillers” metaphor failed, and trying to understand why it’s been repeated so much despite being based on a premise easily proven false, we can extract general lessons about how to create and sell products, and even about how people reason.

Let’s look first at the divergence in pricing. Both the vitamin and painkiller markets are in some ways static. New painkillers are rarely invented, and new vitamins are even more rarely discovered. But while people only need one painkiller at a time, they need all the vitamins and minerals all the time. And so there are far more ways to create a unique multivitamin than a unique painkiller.

This idea can be transported back to software with a new interpretation of what it means for software to be a painkiller. Rob Walling, in Finding Your SaaS Flywheel, uses “painkiller” as a startup metaphor in a different way: rather than than using vitamins vs. painkillers as a metaphor for “nice to have vs. need to have,” he uses them as different points on the cube of whether the customer is sold on the product’s value, whether the need is obvious, and whether they’re actively looking for it.

In Walling’s model, most enterprise software, the kind that takes a multi-thousand dollar paid pilot just to figure out whether it’s helpful, is a secret third thing. And this brings up a salient feature of the actual painkiller market. His prototypical example of “painkillers,” in his sense of the term, are invoicing and time-tracking software. Everyone knows they need them. And because of that, like actual aspirin, they are cheap and commoditized.

Why are the vitamin advertisements so much more creative than the painkiller ones? Actually, we can go further: by the traditional narrative that painkillers are supposed to be about reducing a problem the customer already has and notices, vitamins actually make for better painkillers than painkillers! Advil can only treat headaches, while The Magnesium Miracle treats headaches, insomnia, depression, and anxiety, and it can even help with weight loss!

The vitamin advertisers can make such bigger claims because they’re less regulated. But also because it might be true.

There is no stable distinction between something that solves a pain vs. something that merely provides a benefit. There is instead a spectrum of how large a pain is, and what profiles of customers care about it. Commenters attempting to classify products into this imaginary dichotomy thus often conflate it with “solves big problem” vs. “solves small problem.” In this article, for instance, the investor’s examples are both companies solving real pain points; it’s just that the “painkiller” one is solving a $35 billion problem, while the “vitamin” one’s is smaller. The Mighty browser got called a vitamin, but browsers being slow and draining battery is a real problem for laptop users of all stripes. They just didn’t solve it well enough.

Why is it that some procrastinate on vitamins and rush towards painkillers, while others refuse painkillers and spend thousands on vitamins and supplements? When people make a bold declaration about whether or not something is a painkiller that solves real problems for people, it papers over an obvious statement: there are many, many different kinds of people.

For instance, I sell software-engineering training products for a living. Some do it to get a promotion; some do it to help coach their team; others do it because they’re the kind of person that spends every weekend studying cool things for years on end. The correct response to “Does your product solve a pain that customers care about” is always “Let me go find different kinds of customers.”

And finally, why did people believe the “painkillers outsell vitamins” story when a quick stroll through the store so plainly contradicts it?

Facts invite contradiction, but stories have a way of suppressing thought and creating cached thoughts. When you adopt the “vitamins vs. painkillers” analogy, you are replacing concrete thinking with magical. Doing so replaces the current topic with something broader, traveling up the ladder of abstraction. The rich world of how a product is found and sold becomes replaced with the narrow aspect of which bottle at the drug store has a greater resemblance. Analogies may be good for generating ideas, but treating them as a source of truth is a path to madness. An argument over whether a startup is or isn’t a vitamin is not a failure in using the analogy: it’s an inevitable consequence.

In contrast to the lossiness of analogies, there’s another kind of comparison that only adds information: prototypes. If you call your delivery service “Uber for food,” the response is “tell me more,” not assuming details: “You’re going to get shut down for selling home-cooked food.”

And so it’s a coincidence that the typical “vitamins vs. painkillers” story is the one that caught on, instead of any of the others that can be extracted from the drug store. Contrast: “Everyone says they can relieve a little ache or pain, and a lot of them do. But with vitamins, you can really give them something new and exciting.” Then the same set of ideas might invite different discussion. But the reality would be the same.

So take these lessons and evaluate ideas as they are. Whether someone wants a faster browser is about what you can build and who you can offer it to and how you approach them. Learn to reason directly and not by analogy. Forget about selling vitamins and painkillers.

But if you do:

I once met a vitamin tycoon. His philanthropy exceeds $10 million per year.

Thanks to Benjamin Brule, Jun Hong “Nemo” Yap, Alexey Kommisarouk, and Jonathan Camenisch for comments on earlier drafts of this post.

Addendum, Just for Fun: Other Wellness-Inspired Product Positioning

Gym Memberships: Items whose sales pitch is based on “every healthy company is doing this.”

This is the positioning of my former employer Apptimize, which sold A/B testing software to mobile app developers. They rose during a zeitgeist where it was said that everyone should be doing A/B testing, and the buyers often saw it as part of shifting their company towards healthier data-driven habits. Products for agile development, software testing, and continuous delivery have all ridden similar hype trains.

Physical therapy / stretching: Something you keep doing because it’s good for you. You never notice it working when you do it, but if you’re physically active and you stop doing it for a few weeks, things start to hurt.

The prototypical example is Coca-Cola advertising. The product never changes and everyone knows about it, but somehow sales fall if they ever stop. Repeatedly reminding employees to follow some policy they should already know, such as handwashing, is in this category.

As the product becomes more passive and the protection it offers less certain, this morphs smoothly into the next category:

Helmets: Something that usually has no effect, but protects against catastrophic risk.

This is the sales pitch for every security and insurance product.

Heart surgery: Something you never want to do. But you’ll die if you don’t.

This was coined by my former employer Semantic Designs to describe their work, building bespoke tools that automatically transform large codebases. Time and time again, companies avoid solving problems that require massive change to their codebases, even when they can see disaster coming by not doing so. Consider Goldman Sachs’s Australian division, which was facing its own mini-Y2K problem by running out of daily transaction IDs. But they decided that buying a second mainframe so they could label their transactions “Mainframe A Transaction 1” and “Mainframe B Transaction 1” was easier than upgrading their codebase.

Semantic Designs’s most famous project, automatically converting the code for the B-2 stealth bomber to run on modern hardware, came after Northrup Grumman failed to upgrade it manually, and then failed again to build a tool in-house. Now the founder asks managers who come to him “Have you tried to do this kind of upgrade before?” If the answer is no, he knows that he’ll lose the sale as they try to do it in-house and fail.

Go out there and sell vitamins, sell painkillers, sell gym memberships, and sell candy. And be glad that someone else is trying to make a living providing heart surgery.

Appendix: Vitamins vs. Painkillers: Sales Numbers

If there’s one thing everyone agrees on about this question, it’s that the answer shifts with where you draw the boundaries. You can throw prescription drugs and even anesthetics into painkillers, but there are also prescription and injectable vitamins. You can add some types of massage to painkillers, and you can add other types of massage to vitamins. And if you want to consider products that are sometimes used and advertised for these purposes, you can toss the entire cannabis industry into painkillers, and the entire dairy industry into vitamins.

Below is my methodology for deciding what substances to include, followed by the analysis. The raw results for sales numbers of vitamins and painkillers are in this spreadsheet.

What is a vitamin?

Literally speaking, a vitamin is any molecule on the Official List of Vitamins™: 13 according to the WHO, and 14 according to Harvard Health. To be included, a molecule must (a) not be endogenously produced by the human body, and (b) cause health problems without adequate intake. Each vitamin is a family of molecules called vitamers. This is why you can get a toxic dose of Vitamin A from eating liver but not kale, even though a pound of kale contains 1400% of the daily recommended dose; they contain different vitamers. For instance, the Vitamin B3 family contains three vitamers: niacin (aka: nicotinic acid), nicotinamide, and nicotinamide riboside (NR).

So, by its narrowest definition, vitamins only include supplements containing this fixed set of molecules. But as a consumer market, there’s no reason to exclude other supplements which also rectify common deficiencies. For example, in spite of the above definition, Vitamin D actually is endogenously produced, using sunlight and cholesterol. It’s still on the Official List of Vitamins™ because it’s commonly deficient. This distinguishes it from Coenzyme Q10, where deficiency is a sign of a genetic disorder. But from a consumer and a commercial standpoint, there is no distinction; the bottles are sold next to each other on the shelves. And I expect NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide), a supplement much hyped for its supposed anti-aging effects, to one day be considered a new vitamer of Vitamin B3, as the main pathway of Vitamin B3 first metabolizes them into NMN.

So we can similarly look at including other nutrients. Minerals in particular also have no consumer-facing difference with vitamins. Sure, there’s a chemical difference — minerals are single atoms. But it would even be difficult to draw even a pharmacological distinction: copper and Vitamin B3, for instance, both play a similar role as cofactors in the electron transport chain in cellular respiration (Vitamin B3 through its metabolite NADH). So there’s a strong reason to also include mineral supplements in even a narrow analysis.

The other two kinds of essential micronutrients are essential fatty acids (think: the Omega-3’s in fish oil) and essential amino acids (which would be included in any protein powder, but are the focus of BCAA [branched-chain amino acid] powders). These are midway between supplements and food, and there’s a case to be made for including them as well, particularly with the global fish oil market in excess of $2 billion.

But a definition has to be made to do the analysis, and it’s natural to exclude fish oil and BCAA supplements because they’re much more different from vitamins than are minerals. Here’s the definition:

For the purpose of this article, I define vitamins and minerals to be any nutrient which (a) does not provide calories and where (b) not eating it will cause some kind of deficiency disorder for a sizable fraction of people. We then only consider over-the-counter vitamin and mineral supplements.

This includes the usual suspects, like Vitamin D and Iron. It also includes multivitamins, CoQ 10, choline, and NMN. It does not include fish oil (great relief for an empty stomach), nor creatine (which is produced endogenously in enough quantity to make deficiency symptoms rare), nor melatonin (ditto, and also not a nutrient), nor glucosamine (where deficiency has never been reported), nor whey protein (which is just a food). Probiotics, herbal supplements such as tribulus and horny goat weed, and hormones such as DHEA are all right out.

What is a painkiller?

A painkiller is a pharmaceutical that relieves pain. The most common families work by suppressing production of prostaglandins, molecules involved in the transmission of pain information.

The over-the-counter oral painkillers are acetaminophen (a.k.a. paracetamol, Tylenol), aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin / Advil), and naproxen (Aleve). Also on the list of OTC painkillers is a cocktail containing sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, and aspirin, commonly sold as Alka-Seltzer. I left this out because I could not find sales, especially as its generic name is difficult to Google. And there’s a risk of double-counting: while I don’t know the methodology for the aspirin numbers because the report costs $4250, it probably already includes either Alka-Seltzer or its raw aspirin component.

On top of the oral ones, there is one primary over-the-counter topical painkiller: lidocaine. A gel containing 1% diclofenac, an arthritis treatment, was recently made over-the-counter, although diclofenac is still primarily a prescription drug, and the numbers I’ve found are still for the entire diclofenac market. Browsing a list of pain-relief creams, the other active ingredients I found were menthol and trolamine salicylate. Beyond that, there are also non-medicated ointments that people use for pain, such as hemp oil. Continuing down this path, I could also include everything else people do relieve pain, like ice packs and ergonomic chairs. But at that point I should throw in the entire fitness industry under “vitamin.”

Beyond the over-the-counter painkillers, there are many prescription painkillers. My spreadsheet contains about 20 of them. Unfortunately, numbers on prescription painkillers are harder to find. Many numbers are for the US only, and some, such as the numbers for oxycodone and OxyContin (a particular form of oxycodone), are overlapping.

I could go even further and include actual anesthetics as well as the combined salary of every anesthesiologist. But this runs counter to the meaning of “painkiller” in the product metaphor. People ask for painkillers. But they usually don’t beg to be put under general anesthesia.

While I collected sales numbers for prescription medicines to the best of my ability, I believe an evaluation of this analogy should focus on over-the-counter painkillers, for two reasons. First, most of the articles about “vitamins vs. painkillers” focus on aspects of painkillers that are only true of over-the-counter painkillers. When someone writes an article arguing that customers want painkillers, they don’t mean that you should build a product which requires them to first undergo surgery to get permission to use it, and then causes lightheadedness and cramps if stopped too quickly. Second, prescription medications operate in a very different market with inflated pricing. For comparison, a bottle of prescription Vitamin D containing 7.5 milligrams total (300,000 IU) costs $28, while a bottle of over-the-counter Vitamin D containing 45 milligrams total (1,800,000 IU) costs $14, making the prescription version 12x more expensive on a per-milligram basis. And that’s for Vitamin D, as generic as it comes.

Speaking of prescriptions, there’s another very lucrative painkiller market I haven’t mentioned: cannabis. But it’s not possible to separate its painkiller uses from its recreational ones, even if I limit the analysis to people who are “prescribed” it. Such is the way of black markets in economic data.

So: Painkillers shall include over-the-counter analgesic medications, both oral (e.g.: Advil [ibuprofen], Tylenol [acetaminophen], and aspirin) and topical (e.g.: lidocaine, Capzasin [capsaicin]). It shall also include other chemically-active pain-relieving substances, such as IcyHot (menthol). It does not include products which relieve pain physically such as ice packs, hand warmers, or air casts.


I looked up lists of vitamins and painkillers, and then Googled endlessly for “<name of chemical> global sales” and similar phrases, for about 50 chemicals. For each, I recorded the source of the number, and the year and region it’s for. For prescription painkillers, I primarily only found numbers from the US, but I found global numbers for nearly everything else. Spurred on by the example of NMN, a supplement not officially considered a vitamin but which rightfully should be, I asked ChatGPT 4 for more supplements which are synthesized from vitamins. It told me that CoQ 10 is synthesized from Vitamin K, which is false, although CoQ 10 was already on my list.

Why didn’t I just get global numbers from the same year for everything? Those numbers don’t exist.

Numbers on global product sales come from market research companies. Their employees call pharma and retail executives and survey doctors and, for all I know, send spy planes over vitamin factories. Naturally, they don’t do this for every chemical every year. The output is long reports like this, which sell for $5,000 a pop. Whenever they release a report, they also issue a press release with the top-level number.

So all the details beyond the top-level number, I don’t know. How are the sales of combination calcium/magnesium supplements reflected in the individual reports for the calcium and magnesium markets? I don’t know. Do the Vitamin D sales numbers include the wholesale vitamin D sold for use in multivitamins and to fortify milk? Do they include a portion of the retail price of multivitamins? I don’t know. Do the aspirin numbers include Alka-Seltzer? I don’t know.

And then there are the minerals where a single report combines both nutritional and industrial use. Some people supplement phosphorus, but the market is dominated by its use to supplement crops. And there’s a report saying the global market for manganese gluconate is $600 million, but it lists a dozen uses other than supplementation. If I want the breakdown, then it’ll be $4250. I wound up just leaving numbers for those minerals out.

Spreadsheet of all raw numbers


Adding together the available numbers for global vitamin sales, the total is $11.438 billion. Adding choline and CoQ 10 raises this to $13.723 billion; adding NMN further raises it to $14.003 billion. I am missing numbers only for Vitamin B6.

Again adding numbers from different years, supplement sales of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, chromium, and selenium totals $32.720 billion. I refrained from adding in the $24.4 billion market for the most common type of sodium supplement, even if humans’ love of salty food is just a biologically-programmed urge for supplementation. I was unable to find supplement-specific numbers for potassium, phosphorus, manganese, iodine, or molybdenum. For some of these, supplement specific reports do exist, but the headlines are infuriatingly stripped of numbers: “The global Potassium Supplement market is projected to reach US$ million by 2028 from an estimated US$ million in 2022, at a CAGR of % during 2023 and 2028.” (Yes, this is an exact quote.) I could put as a lower bound one popular kind of potassium supplement, NuSalt and its sales of $1.2 billion, except that a lot of people eat it to satisfy the biological craving for sodium while not eating sodium.

I was surprised by some of the mineral numbers. I expected iron and calcium to be the biggest sellers. But actually it’s chromium at $10.5 billion, which I’ve never even seen on a drug store shelf before. I had to triple-check this number, but it seems real. Apparently it’s very popular in India because it’s supposed to help weight loss and prevent diabetes. Magnesium was a close second at $10.1 billion; I guess that “Magnesium Miracle” lady was onto something.

These sums include numbers from 2018 through 2022. Assuming that the markets only grow over time as the world becomes richer and more populated, this comes to a combined vitamin and mineral market of at least $46.723 billion. This is suspiciously close to the $44.12 billion number that one report gave for the entire vitamin and supplement industry in 2020, even though that report’s press release says it contains multivitamins, which in turn include a lot of things definitely not on this list.

The over-the-counter oral painkillers of acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin total $12.24 billion. Adding the topical painkiller lidocaine brings the total to $13.723 billion. I did not find numbers for naproxen, but the most popular US brand, Aleve, has US sales of $323.6 million. I also did not find general numbers for trolamine salicylate and topical menthol, although popular brands containing these ingredients — IcyHot and Biofreeze for menthol, and Aspercreme and Blue Emu for trolamine salicylate — have combined US sales of $420 million. Another source gives the US-only sales numbers for topical pain relief — including these but also opioids — as $2.6 billion. Capsaicin is sometimes used as a painkiller; a report proudly proclaims it has a market size of $XX. That report includes all its uses, including bear spray and particularly malicious brands of hot sauce.

For cases where I only have US sales, I’ll use this method of estimating: I found the total sales of oral OTC painkillers in the US to be $2.917 billion, or $2.593 billion at most without naproxen. Compared to the global sales of these same painkillers, $12.24 billion, that suggests a 4.72 multiplier to go from the US sales to the global sales. Applying this estimator gives global naproxen sales of $1.527 billion and an estimate for the global sales of creams containing menthol or trolamine salicylate of $1.982 billion. This gives a combined total estimate of global over-the-counter painkiller sales of $17.232 billion.

The largest-selling prescription painkillers are Diclofenac, Celecoxib, and the various opioids, including oxycodone, Tapentadol, codeine, and morphine. The two major non-opioids sum to $7.344 billion in global sales. The opioid numbers overlap in various ways (do the oxycodone numbers include OxyContin? I think so), and some of them are US-only. Fortunately, I have a separate number for global sales of all opioids: $22.66 billion in 2020.

Summing this, we get a global market for prescription painkillers of at least $30.004 billion. In the spreadsheet, I also have the US-only numbers for 5 less popular non-opioid painkillers, totalling $230 million. Using the same estimator as above, I estimate the global totals for these to be $1.086 billion, bringing us to $31.090 billion.

So, combined, over-the-counter and prescription painkillers total $48.322 billion, edging out the $46.723 billion estimate for vitamins and minerals. This is based on a mixture of numbers from different years, but you’d expect most markets to grow each year. But there’s an important exception: half of the painkiller market is opioids, a product under active attack and with expiring patents. And keep in mind that several minerals are outright missing from the estimate. So my money is on the vitamin and mineral market handily outpacing the painkiller market, if it hasn’t already.

And if you only compare vitamins and minerals with over-the-counter painkillers, as the analogy is usually deployed, then there is no contest.

Sell vitamins. Not painkillers.

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1 comment:

  1. This is an outrageously good post. Thank you for debunking this industry mantra with a data-driven approach. Will be quoting your research!