Number of pages: 100 | Report Format: PDF | Published date: 21 July, 2022
Historical Years – 2020 | Base Year – 2021 | Forecasted Years – 2022-2030
The global over-the-counter drug market was pegged at ~US$ 169.1 billion in 2021 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 8.2% during the forecast period.
Over-the-counter drugs, also known as non-prescription drugs, can be used with or without a prescription by a healthcare professional. According to the Food and Drug Administration, these medicines are safe and effective when a person takes them by following the directions on the label or as directed by a health care professional. OTC medicines have brand names as well as generic and store brand names. OTC medicines are used to relieve aches, pains, cough, cold, headaches, itches, and as dietary supplements. They are presently accessible in convenience stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and supermarkets across the globe. The developing R&D distribution and boosting funding from governments across the globe will promote the expansion of the market. Furthermore, OTC products are easily available at any drug store and is cost-effective too. Thus, the easy availability & affordability of OTC drugs will boost the growth of the OTC drugs market. The existence of a distinct range of effective drugs will drive the OTC drug market ahead. In addition, growing technological advancements associated with OTC drug applications will boost market growth.
The growing use of OTC medicines for treating common illnesses is one of the major factors fuelling the growth of this market. Escalating geriatric population is one of the major reasons making the over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements market grow during the next few years. Also, the disposition of pharmaceutical companies toward OTC drugs from RX drugs and improving awareness for vitamin supplements and weight loss products will lead to substantial demand in this market. Apart from this, there is presently an expansion in the number of people opting for OTC drugs rather than consulting physicians on account of increasing healthcare costs. Furthermore, self-medication practices can assist in controlling chronic diseases, reducing absence from work, and saving limited medical resources from being consumed during minor conditions.
The global over-the-counter drugs market has been analyzed from two perspectives: product, distribution channels and region.
Over-the-Counter Drugs Market by Product
Based on product, the global over-the-counter drugs market has been segmented into analgesics & pain relievers, cough, cold & flu products, vitamins & minerals supplements(VMS), gastrointestinal products, dermatological products, ophthalmic products, sleep aids, weight loss/dietary supplements, and smoking cession aids, and others. The weight loss/dietary supplement and VMS OTC products segment is anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This is majorly recognized to the rising understanding of the general population about health and the rise in the consumption of junk food, rising alcohol consumption, adoption of sedentary life, and growing concern for health life among the population are the factors driving the growth of this market. Analgesics, on the other hand, are expected to grow rapidly during the forecast period. For instance, OTC analgesics are frequently used to treat and manage headaches, fever, toothache, musculoskeletal injuries and disorders, and menstrual cramps.The reasons for self-medication of analgesics are primarily pain-related. According to an article published in September 2021 by Interventional Pain and Spine Centre (IPSC), 19% of the Indian adult population suffers from chronic pain of some kind, with females having a 25% prevalence.
Over-the-Counter Drugs Market by Distribution Channels
Based on product, the global over-the-counter drugs market has been segmented into drug stores & retail pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, online pharmacies, and others. The drugstores and retail pharmacies segment are expected to account for the largest market share during the forecasted period, owing to the growing number of retail pharmacies offering OTC products and rising patient preference for these products in stores and retail pharmacies. Because of increased access to OTC drugs and the availability of various OTC products, the hospital pharmacies segment accounts for the second largest market. Because of the internet's penetration in the emerging market and the discounts offered by online pharmacies, online pharmacies are expected to grow at a profitable CAGR.
Over-the-Counter Drugs Market by Region
Regionally, the global over-the-counter drugs market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World. North America holds the leading position in the global over-the-counter drugs market, owing to a well-established healthcare structure, followed by Europe, owing to growing patient awareness regarding the consumption of OTC drugs, leading to self-medication practices. North America is expected to increase its market share in the future, owing to the leading trend among pharmaceutical companies to switch from Rx to OTC drugs. For instance, a report by the National Institute of Health has stated that 93% of adults in the United States favor treating their minor ailments with OTC medicines before seeking professional care, and 85% of parents in the United States prefer to treat their children's minor ailments with an OTC medicine before seeking professional care. The Asia Pacific OTC drugs market is forecast to register a significant growth rate due to the growing number of pharmacies. In addition, the easy affordability of over-the-counter drugs and booming healthcare infrastructure will benefit the overall market. The rising use of OTC drugs to treat minor health issues such as cold, cough, and headache is playing a key role in driving the growth of the OTC drugs market in this region. Further, the market players are continuously launching new OTC medicines in the region owing to the increasing shift from prescription to OTC drugs which is further propelling the market growth. For instance, in February 2019, Strides Consumer Pvt Ltd, based in Bengaluru, launched two over-the-counter (OTC) products for smoking cessation and joint pain relief.
Some of the prominent players operating in the global over-the-counter drugs market include:-