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The Global Over-the-counter (OTC) Drugs Market is expected to experience significant growth, with revenue projected to rise from US$ 1,29,963.03 Mn in 2022 to US$ 2,38,453.92 Mn by 2031, registering a CAGR of 7.0% during the forecast period. The increasing demand for OTC drugs is driven by a variety of factors, including rising awareness of these products, favorable regulatory environments, and increasing pharmaceutical spending.
OTC drugs are easily accessible to consumers, as they are sold without a prescription and can be purchased at a pharmacy or ordered online. They treat a wide range of illnesses and symptoms, including pain, coughs and colds, diarrhea, constipation, and acne. OTC drugs are regulated based on their Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) rather than the final products, ensuring they are safe and effective when used without physician supervision.
The growing awareness of OTC products is driven by increasing internet penetration, making it easy for consumers to access information about these drugs and their intended uses. Additionally, OTC drugs offer location convenience and save patients time as they do not require a consultation with a healthcare provider. In the United States, for example, the manufacture and sale of OTC substances are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
However, despite these drivers, the market is being hindered by growing cases of substance abuse and the adverse effects of OTC drugs. Nevertheless, the increasing investment in pharmaceutical R&D is expected to continue fueling market growth in the coming years.
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The two main drivers of the OTC drugs market are the increasing approval of OTC drugs and the shift from prescription drugs to OTC drugs.
Increasing Approval of OTC Drugs
The increasing approval of OTC drugs has been a major driver of the OTC drugs market. This is due to the fact that consumers have become more aware of the effectiveness of OTC drugs and their easy availability. In addition, the regulatory authorities have been granting more approvals for OTC drugs, thus making them more widely available for consumers. Furthermore, with the development of new products, such as over-the-counter complementary medicines and herbal medicines, the market for OTC drugs is constantly expanding.
Shift From Prescription Drugs to OTC Drugs
The shift from prescription drugs to OTC drugs is also a major driver of the OTC drugs market. This is due to the fact that the rising cost of healthcare and the increasing number of conditions treated with OTC drugs have made it more cost-effective and convenient for consumers to purchase OTC drugs rather than prescription drugs. In addition, the ease of access and the availability of a wide range of OTC drugs make it easier for consumers to choose the right product for their condition. Therefore, the growing popularity of OTC drugs has resulted in an increase in demand for them.
In addition, the growing awareness among consumers about the use of OTC drugs and the availability of a wide range of OTC drugs have also been major drivers of the OTC drugs market. With an increasing number of people looking for better and more effective ways to manage their health, OTC drugs have become an attractive option for them.
The OTC drugs market is segmented based on product type, mode of intake, and distribution channel.
By Product Type:
The analgesics segment holds the highest market share in the OTC drugs market in 2022. Analgesics, also known as painkillers, are widely used for relief from mild to moderate pain. The demand for pain reliever medications for the treatment of minor headaches, stomachaches, and limb pain, among others, is expected to drive the market growth. The cough, cold, and influenza segment holds the second-highest market share in 2022, with high demand for medications to treat symptoms associated with these conditions.
By Mode of Intake
In terms of mode of intake, the oral mode dominates the OTC drugs market in 2022. The high demand for oral drugs, such as cough and cold syrups, pain-relieving tablets, gastrointestinal syrups and products, and vitamins, minerals, and supplements, is expected to drive market growth. However, the parenteral segment, which includes drugs administered through injections or infusions, is expected to see the highest CAGR over the forecast period.
By Distribution Channel
Retail pharmacies hold the highest market share in the OTC drugs market in 2022, and this trend is expected to continue during the forecast period. The high presence of retail pharmacies globally, coupled with the easy and quick access to OTC drugs, is driving the market growth. Additionally, online pharmacies and drug stores are also gaining popularity, with a growing number of consumers opting for online purchases of OTC drugs.
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The North American region held a prominent share in the global over-the-counter (OTC) drugs market in 2022, due to the strong presence of leading market players such as Pfizer and AbbVie Inc. The US emerged as the largest contributor to the North American OTC drugs market, with a significant number of consumers relying on OTC drugs to treat mild symptoms. This is largely due to a significant population lacking medical insurance and opting to purchase OTC drugs from local retail stores instead of visiting a healthcare institution.
Additionally, the availability of insurance policies that offer coverage for OTC drugs further fuels the market's growth in the country. In January 2019, Anthem, a major medical insurance company, partnered with Walmart to offer Medicare Advantage Plans policyholders better access to OTC drugs. This partnership is expected to have a positive impact on the overall OTC drugs market in the US and North America, keeping the business outlook optimistic.
The following are the various segments of the Global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market:
By Product Type segment of the Global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market is sub-segmented into:
By Mode of Intake segment of the Global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market is sub-segmented into:
By Distribution Channel segment of the Global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market is sub-segmented into:
By Region segment of the Global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market is sub-segmented into:
|Market Size Value in 2022
|US$ 1,29,963.03 Million
|Expected Revenue in 2031
|US$ 2,38,453.92 Million
|Value (USD Mn)
|By Product, By Mode, By Distribution Channel, By Region
|AbbVie Inc., Alfresa Pharma Corporation, Bayer AG, Dr.Reddy’s Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Glenmark Pharmaceutical Products Ltd., Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co Inc., Novartis AG, Perrigo Company Plc., Pfizer, Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc., Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Other Prominent Players
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The Global OTC Drugs Market was valued at US$ 1,29,963.03 Mn in 2022.
OTC drugs are the kind of medicines that one can easily buy in the pharmacy without prescription or without seeking help from the health professional.
OTC medicines treat a variety of illnesses and their symptoms including pain, coughs and colds, diarrhea, constipation, acne, and others.
For people with low socio-economic status who cannot keep health in priority, OTC drugs are the best solution. Direct purchasing of the OTC drugs from the pharmacist is much cheaper than consulting doctors/ health practitioners.
The Global OTC Drugs Market is projected to expand at a CAGR of 7.0% during the forecast period.
The market is majorly driven by factors such as rising awareness regarding OTC products, favorable regulatory scenario, and increasing pharmaceutical spending.
The growing cases of substance abuse and adverse effects of medicines are restraining the market growth.
AI-powered operations in online pharmacies are the current trend in the OTC drugs market.
The various segmentations considered to analyze the Global OTC Drugs Market are based on product type, mode of intake, distribution channel, and region.
Analgesics segment dominates the market in 2022.
Oral mode of drug intake holds the highest share in the Global OTC Drugs Market.
Retail pharmacy is the largest shareholding segment of distribution channel in the market in 2022.
The key players in the Global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market are Glenmark Pharmaceutical Products Ltd., Johnson & Johnson, Bayer AG, Perrigo Company Plc, Pfizer, and Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc among others.
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