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PUBLISHER: Mordor Intelligence Pvt Ltd | PRODUCT CODE: 802338

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PUBLISHER: Mordor Intelligence Pvt Ltd | PRODUCT CODE: 802338

Over the Counter Drugs Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

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The Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market is expected to grow at the registered CAGR of 6.65% over the forecast period (2022-2027).

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the spotlight on Over the Counter Drugs market, though the healthcare systems have been significantly impacted. As per the research study published in The Pharmaceutical Journal in March 2020, the owner of LloydsPharmacy revealed that there is a tremendous demand for over-the-counter painkillers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, the lockdown and travel restrictions in China and minimized medicine exports by India have affected the OTC drug supplies across global pharmacies, which could result in a sharp rise in the pricing of OTC drugs during the pandemic. Due to the countrywide lockdown, the traditional supply chain of OTC drugs is facing a lot of difficulties. Many of the necessary OTC medications are not offered. Many retail pharmacies are experiencing a stock shortage despite the state government's support and detailed guidelines for transporting essential OTC medications. On the other hand, there has been an increase in the sale of OTC medications online. The federal and state governments are developing new programmes and policies to oversee and support the online purchase of prescription drugs and over-the-counter (OTC) items. For example, in April 2020, the Medical and Health Department of Andhra Pradesh released "Covid Pharma," a mobile application to monitor people who buy over-the-counter (OTC) medications for cough, cold, and fever from medical stores nationwide.

The growth propelling factors of this market are product innovations, high penetration in the emerging market, favorable regulatory framework, and inclination of pharmaceutical companies toward OTC drugs from Rx drugs.

The global over-the-counter (OTC) drug market is likely to record the highest growth rate in the emerging markets of Latin America and Southeast Asia over the coming years. This can be attributed to the rapidly growing population, coupled with the growing middle class in these regions and an increase in disposable income of the population, which will add critical mass to the population available to access OTC medication. Along with new channels of accessibility in emerging markets in retail outlets, supermarkets are also contributing to the growth of the OTC medication market in the emerging economies. According to a study "Prevalence and Predictors of Self-Medication Practices in India: A Systematic Literature Review and Meta-Analysis" published in Open Access Journal in August 2020, in India, self-medication occurs 53.57 %. With a prevalence rate of 26.31 %, the middle-lower class family was the group most likely to engage in the practise. The high rate of self-medication in India indicates a high demand for over-the-counter medicines, which will drive the market there.

Furthermore, OTC medications support rising consumer demand for self-care. The Consumer prefer to treat minor illnesses with over-the-counter (OTC) medications before seeking professional care. Additionally, the key market players' increasing product innovation supports the market growth over the forecast period. For Instance, in March 2021, Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical Co. Inc. introduced Salonpas Arthritis Pain Relief Gel This medication, diclofenac at a prescription strength, was permitted for over-the-counter (OTC) use in 2020 by the Food and Drug Administration.

Product launches are another reason for the growth of the market. For Instance In March 2020, Tivic Health revealed that ClearUP Sinus Relief has been given the CE Mark for the short-term relief of sinus pressure, pain, and congestion. Additionally, in September 2020, In the United States market, Dr Reddy's Laboratories introduced the over-the-counter topical gel Diclofenac Sodium, used to treat arthritis pain. Additionally, a rising tendency for consumers to self-medicate minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds, nasal congestion, or fevers, aids in driving the market studied. However, probability of substance abuse and lack of awareness in rural areas restraint the market growth.

Key Market Trends

The Cough, Cold and Flu Products Segment is Expected to Grow Tremendously Over the Forecast Period

The segment with the largest market share and the fastest rate of growth is cough, cold, and flu products. The rise in the number of people suffering from cough, cold, and flu is what is causing an increase in the amount of over-the-counter (OTC) drug use in this category. Consumers depend on OTC cough, cold, or flu medicines, as they are the first resort, to get relief from the symptoms. Owing to their easy procurement, the sale of OTC drugs for cough, cold, and flu have been highly increasing globally. Decongestants, cough suppressants, expectorants, and antihistamines are generally taken as OTC drugs for treating the symptoms of cough and cold.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has also created a huge demand for OTC drugs for the treatment of common symptoms, such as flu, cold, and cough related to the virus. Though it was found that none of the OTC drugs may treat the viral infection, they will provide relief from the common symptoms of the infection. However, according to the research study carried out by the researchers at the University of California San Francisco, 2020, the component called dextromethorphan, which is found in most OTC cough syrups and acts on Sigma 1 receptors, was found to promote the SARS-CoV2 viral growth in laboratory settings. Hence, the use of OTC drugs related to cough is expected to be impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, growing prevalence of cold and cough is expected to boost the segment growth. According to the Center For Disease Control and Prevention in November 2021, There are millions of cases of the common cold each year in the United States. The average adult gets two to three colds a year, and kids get even more. In addition to the growing awareness of OTC drugs to relieve the mild symptoms of Flu, cough, and cold, the rising new product launches are expected to drive the growth of the studied market.

Thus, given the aforementioned factors, the studied segment is expected to propel significantly over the forecast period.

North America Holds the Major Share and is Expected to Dominate the Over the Counter Drugs Market in the Forecast Period

In view, the leading trend among pharmaceutical companies to switch from Rx to OTC drugs and the growing adoption of self-medication to relieve the symptoms of minor illness is expected to drive the studied market growth in North America.

COVID- 19 is expected to have a significant impact on the studied market in the United States, as most of the population were not comfortable in hospital and clinic visits for minor illnesses, in fear of being infected with the Coronavirus. Thus, this fact is expected to boost market growth. however, according to the research article published in the JAMA network 2020, due to the disruption of the supply chain, the availability and distribution of medicines in the United States have been hampered during the COVID-19 lockdown period. This could result in the reduced availability of OTC drugs to the general public in the region.

An upsurge in the incidences of chronic diseases among the Canadian population and comorbidities associated with the diseases are likely to positively impact the growth of the over-the-counter (OTC) analgesics market over the forecast period. For instance, according to Statistics Canada, approximately 54,44,600 people aged between 18 to 65 years and above were suffering from high blood pressure in 2020. Around 2,285,200 people aged 12 years and above had diabetes, and 2,802,700 had asthma. Moreover, the same source stated that nearly 5,915,900 individuals aged 15 years and above had arthritis.

Additionally, the increasing product approvals and product launches in the region drive the growth of the studied market. For instance, in Jan 2020, Tetra Bio Pharma Inc. received two Drug Identification Numbers (DIN) from Health Canada for the first over-the-counter (OTC) products to be marketed under its TERPACAN banner. Thus, in view of the aforementioned factors, the studied market is predicted to grow tremendously over the forecast period in North America.

Competitive Landscape

The over the counter drugs market is highly competitive and consists of several major players. In terms of market share, few of the major players currently dominate the market. However, with technological advancements and product innovation, mid-size to smaller companies are increasing their market presence by introducing new products with fewer prices. Companies, like Johnson and Johnson, Novartis AG, Bayer AG, Glaxosmithkline PLC, and Pfizer, holds significant market shares in the over the counter drugs market.

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Product Code: 46852



  • 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition
  • 1.2 Scope of the Study




  • 4.1 Market Overview
  • 4.2 Market Drivers
    • 4.2.1 Product Innovation
    • 4.2.2 High Penetration in Emerging Markets
    • 4.2.3 Inclination of Pharmaceutical Companies Toward OTC Drugs from RX Drugs
  • 4.3 Market Restraints
    • 4.3.1 Probability of Substance Abuse
    • 4.3.2 Lack of Awareness in Rural Areas
  • 4.4 Porter's Five Force Analysis
    • 4.4.1 Threat of New Entrants
    • 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers
    • 4.4.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
    • 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products
    • 4.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

5 MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size by Value - USD Million)

  • 5.1 By Product Type
    • 5.1.1 Cough, Cold and Flu Products
    • 5.1.2 Analgesics
    • 5.1.3 Dermatology Products
    • 5.1.4 Gastrointestinal Products
    • 5.1.5 Vitamins, Mineral and Supplements(VMS)
    • 5.1.6 Weight Loss/Dietary Products
    • 5.1.7 Ophthalmic Products
    • 5.1.8 Sleeping Aids
    • 5.1.9 Other Product Types
  • 5.2 By Formulation Type
    • 5.2.1 Tablets
    • 5.2.2 Liquids
    • 5.2.3 Ointments
    • 5.2.4 Sprays
  • 5.3 By Distribution Channel
    • 5.3.1 Hospital Pharmacies
    • 5.3.2 Retail Pharmacies
    • 5.3.3 Online Pharmacy
    • 5.3.4 Other Distribution Channels
  • 5.4 Geography
    • 5.4.1 North America
      • United States
      • Canada
      • Mexico
    • 5.4.2 Europe
      • Germany
      • United Kingdom
      • France
      • Italy
      • Spain
      • Rest of Europe
    • 5.4.3 Asia-Pacific
      • China
      • Japan
      • India
      • Australia
      • South Korea
      • Rest of Asia-Pacific
    • 5.4.4 Middle East and Africa
      • GCC
      • South Africa
      • Rest of Middle East and Africa
    • 5.4.5 South America
      • Brazil
      • Argentina
      • Rest of South America


  • 6.1 Company Profiles
    • 6.1.1 Johnson and Johnson
    • 6.1.2 Bayer AG
    • 6.1.3 Viatris (Mylan NV)
    • 6.1.4 Sanofi S.A.
    • 6.1.5 Pfizer Inc.
    • 6.1.6 GlaxoSmithKline plc
    • 6.1.7 Perrigo Company plc
    • 6.1.8 Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC
    • 6.1.9 Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd
    • 6.1.10 Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH
    • 6.1.11 Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
    • 6.1.12 Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
    • 6.1.13 Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
    • 6.1.14 Dr. Reddy's Laboratories
    • 6.1.15 Piramal Enterprises


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