The global over the counter (OTC) drugs market was valued at US$ 125.28 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach over US$ 229.01 billion by 2033, expanding growth at a registered CAGR of 6.51% from 2024 to 2033.
The U.S. over the counter (OTC) drugs size was estimated at USD 23.03 billion in 2023 and is anticipated to reach around USD 41.72 billion by 2033, growing at a CAGR of 6.42% from 2024 to 2033.
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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.
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
|Market Size In 2023
|US$ 125.28 Billion
|CAGR of 6.51% from 2024 to 2033
|Revenue Projection by 2033
|US$ 229.01 Billion
|Fastest Growing Market
|2024 to 2033
|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
Based on the product, the cold & cough remedies accounted revenue share of 25% 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.
Key Companies & Market Share Insights
Some of the prominent players in the global over the counter (OTC) drugs market include:
Segments Covered in the Report
By Product Type
By Dosage Form
By Route of Administration
By Distribution Channel
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