Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market (By Product Type: Analgesics, Cold & Cough Remedies, Digestives & Intestinal Remedies, Skin Treatment, Vitamins & Minerals, Others; By Distribution Channel: Drug Stores & Retail Pharmacies, Hospital Pharmacies, Online Pharmacies) - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, Regional Outlook, and Forecast 2022 – 2030


The global over the counter (OTC) drugs market was valued at US$ 160.75 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach over US$ 294.18 billion by 2030, expanding growth at a registered CAGR of 6.9% from 2022 to 2030.

Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market Size 2020 to 2030

Growth Factors

  • The growth of global over the counter drugs market is being driven by growing demand for self-medications and drugs. As per the Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, roughly 20% of the Spanish population uses non prescribed medication, with females being more likely to do so.
  • In addition, growing approvals for over the counter drugs is also boosting expansion of global over the counter drugs market. For example, Sanofi declared in February 2017 that the Food and Drug Administration has permitted Xyzal Allergy 24HR as an over the counter drugs for seasonal allergies. 
  • Another factor propelling the growth of global over the counter drugs market is due to cost effective in nature over the counter drugs. As per the survey published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, over the counter drugs save the U.S. around $100 billion each year. The increase in the older population, as well as favorable regulatory measures, will boost the global over the counter drugs market’s growth pace.
  • In addition, increased patent expirations of many pharmaceuticals, resulting in their utilization as over the counter drugs, and the low cost of over the counter drugs are factors that will drive the expansion of global over the counter drugs market over the forecast period. 
  • The surge in demand for individualized drugs for minor disorders and the implementation of treatment procedures by healthcare payers are propelling the global over the counter drugs market. 
  • On the other hand, the global over the counter drugs market’s growth is predicted to be limited by rigorous government rules and lack of knowledge among individuals. Furthermore, the global over the counter drugs market is likely to benefit from increased research and development spending. 
  • The global market for over the counter drugs is fiercely competitive, with a number of prominent players. Few of the large market players are currently controlling the market in terms of market share.

The prescription drugs, on the other hand, can only be sold to consumers who have a valid prescription. Over the counter (OTC) drugs are the medicines that is sold directly to a consumer without any kind of prescription from a healthcare providers or doctors. Over the counter (OTC) drugs are chosen by regulatory agencies in many countries to guarantee that they contain chemicals that are safe and effective when taken without the supervision of a physician. The active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) of over the counter (OTC) drugs is usually regulated rather than the end product. Governments can freely create chemicals, or combinations of ingredients, into proprietary mixes by controlling APIs rather than specific medication formulations.

In recent years, the demand for over the counter (OTC) drugs has increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cough and cold cases increased due to pandemic. The sale of cold and cough remedies was high during the outbreak. The consumers brought over the counter (OTC) drugs through online pharmacies. This is was due to social distancing norms and guidelines. The revenue and profit of online pharmacies increased during the epidemic of coronavirus. Such instances result into the growth of over the counter (OTC) drugs market.

The increased geriatric population, who are more susceptible to cough and cold, increased vehicle pollution, increased R&D activities leads to the high demand for over the counter (OTC) drugs in the market. An increase in the number of cough and cold cases, the development of sophisticated products, and the adoption of efficient treatments are expected to boost the overall market demand for over the counter (OTC) drugs.

In the future years, the over the counter (OTC) drugs market will be driven by the increasing availability and manufacturing of over the counter (OTC) drugs for a wide range of common illness problems. The demand for medicines is fueled by the recurrence of common colds and flu. Furthermore, the increased awareness and demand for weight loss and vitamin supplements products would significantly boost the over the counter (OTC) drugs market growth. Over the counter (OTC) drugs demand is expected to be fueled by cost-benefit analysis, positive results, and increased accessibility during the forecast period.

The development of knowledge about general health problems, as well as advancements in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, are driving the global over the counter (OTC) drugs and dietary supplements market. Furthermore, an increasing trend among individuals to choose over the counter (OTC) drugs for minor illnesses contributes to market growth. On the other hand, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strict restrictions governing the safety and efficacy of over the counter (OTC) drugs stifle the market growth during the forecast period.

Scope of the Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market

Report Coverage Details
Market Size In 2020 US$ 150.8 Billion
Growth Rate  CAGR of 6.9% from 2021 to 2030
Revenue Projection by 2030 US$ 294.18 Billion
Largest Market North America
Fastest Growing Market Asia Pacific
Base Year 2021
Forecast Period 2021 to 2030
Companies Mentioned Bayer AG, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson Services Inc., Sanofi S.A., Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, Novartis AG, Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Mylan

 

Product Insights

Based on the product, the cold & cough remedies accounted revenue share of 23% in 2021. Due to seasonal variations, the sector is expected to dominate the market due to an increase in the occurrence of common colds and coughs among the population. Increased senior population, which is more susceptible to cough and colds, increased automobile pollution, more R&D activities, and increased awareness about advanced medications are all expected to help the cough remedies segment create larger revenue in the approaching years. An increase in the number of testing and research facilities, particularly in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, would contribute to the growth of segment.

Cold and cough drugs can help to alleviate the symptoms of a regular cold. A runny nose, sore throat, coughing, and sneezing are all common cold symptoms. Cold and cough are the most prevalent illnesses in children under the age of ten and elderly population over 65, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is driving up demand for treatments. 

On the other hand, the analgesics is expected to grow at rapid pace during the forecast period. This is owing to the growing senior population, which is driving up demand for pain relievers, as well as the introduction of new over the counter (OTC) drugs pain relievers. Anti-inflammatory analgesics reduce inflammation, while opioid analgesics modify pain discernment in the mind. Few of the analgesics are accessible without a prescription, while others require one. The goal of better healthcare outcomes drives the global need for analgesics. This includes pain management, which necessitates a multidisciplinary approach in order to be effective. Apart from that, manufacturers’ development of opioid analgesics with abuse-deterrent qualities has resulted in a significant demand for analgesics all over the world.

Distribution Channel Insights

Based on the distribution channel, the drug stores and retail pharmacies segment dominated the market with highest market share during 2021. This is attributed to the rising number of retail pharmacies providing over the counter (OTC) drugs. Due to the growing number of retail pharmacies offering over the counter medications and growing patient preference for these items, the drug stores and retail pharmacies category is expected to account for the greatest market share over the projection period. 

On the other hand, the online pharmacies segment is fastest growing segment in the over the counter (OTC) drugs market. This is attributed to the increase in internet penetration in the developing and underdeveloped regions. An online pharmacy, often known as an internet pharmacy or a mail order pharmacy, is a pharmacy that works online and provides orders to consumers by shipping firms, mail, or an online pharmacy web portal. 

Region Insights

Based on the region, the North America segment dominated the global over the counter (OTC) drugs market in 2021, in terms of revenue and is estimated to sustain its dominance during the forecast period. The North America region’s supremacy can be linked to consumer’s growing preference for over the counter (OTC) drugs over prescription drugs. The growth of over the counter drugs market in North America region is being driven by the growing consumption of over the counter drugs. According to a National Institute of Health report, 93% of adults in the U.S. prefer to treat minor illnesses with over the counter drugs before seeking professional help, and 85% of parents prefer to treat minor illnesses in their children with over the counter drugs before seeking professional help. In addition, the growing preference for over the counter drugs over the prescription drugs is also driving the growth of North America over the counter drugs market. 

On the other hand, the Europe is estimated to be the most opportunistic segment during the forecast period. Due to the widespread of self-medication and the presence of a big number of over the counter (OTC) drugs manufacturing companies in this region, Europe is predicted to be the fastest growing region during the forecast period. In addition, increased public awareness of over the counter (OTC) drugs is propelling the market expansion in this region.

One of the significant factors driving the growth of Europe over the counter drugs market is growing awareness about over the counter drugs among people. In addition, existence of major market players is also boosting the expansion of Europe over the counter drugs market. The Europe over the counter drugs market is expanding because to a growing senior population with a variety of illnesses caused by ageing impairments. With increased product penetration and availability, demand in the Europe region will continue to climb, boosting over the counter drugs market growth in the region. 

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

  • In August 2019, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline Plc., two of the world’s largest pharmaceutical corporations, announced a joint venture agreement. The goal of this agreement was to establish a leading consumer healthcare company and become the global over the counter (OTC) drugs market leader.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Astepro Allergy as an over the countermedicine for the temporary alleviation of nasal congestion, itchy nose, runny nose, and other respiratory infections in June 2021, according to Bayer. It is only non-steroid antihistamine nasal spray available over the counter in the U.S. for adults and children aged 6 and up. 
  • Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. released Olopatadine Hydrochloride Ophthalmic Solution, an over the countereye allergy drop, in September 2020. 
  • Cipla Health teamed with Zomato, Swiggy, and Dunzo to deliver over the counter wellness goods to customer’s homes in India in April 2020. 
  • GSK Consumer Healthcare declared in December 2020 that it will launch a new nasal decongestant portfolio in India under the Otrivin brand. Otrivin Breathe Clean Daily Nasal Wash was also introduced. 
  • Crown and Soma Pharmaceuticals declared a collaboration in December 2020 to bring Microcyn-based sprays and gels, as well as anti-itching over the counter drugs to the U.S. market. 

Some of the prominent players in the global over the counter (OTC) drugs market include:

  • Bayer AG
  • Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd.
  • Pfizer
  • Johnson & Johnson Services Inc.
  • Sanofi S.A.
  • Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC
  • Novartis AG
  • Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH
  • GlaxoSmithKline PLC
  • Mylan

Segments Covered in the Report

By Product Type

  • Analgesics
  • Cold & Cough Remedies
  • Digestives & Intestinal Remedies
  • Skin Treatment
  • Vitamins & Minerals
  • Others

By Distribution Channel

  • Drug Stores & Retail Pharmacies
  • Hospital Pharmacies
  • Online Pharmacies

By Geography

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • U.K.
    • Germany
    • France
  • Asia-Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • South Korea
  • MEA
  • Rest of the World

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the current size of over the counter (OTC) drugs market?
According to Precedence Research, the global over the counter (OTC) drugs market size worth at US$ 150.8 billion in 2020 and is predicted to reach over US$ 294.18 billion by 2030.
The global over the counter (OTC) drugs market is expected to drive growth at a CAGR of 6.9% from 2021 to 2030.
The major players operating in the over the counter (OTC) drugs market are Bayer AG, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson Services Inc., Sanofi S.A., Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, Novartis AG, Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Mylan.
The growth in awareness of general health problems, as well as innovations in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, are driving the growth of over the counter (OTC) drugs market.
North America is the largest segment for over the counter (OTC) drugs market in terms of region.
  • Report Code:1466
  • Category:Healthcare
  • No. of Pages:150+
  • Format:PDF/PPT/Excel
  • Status:Published

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