Global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market Size, Share, and COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Product (Analgesics, Cold, Cough & Flu Products, Weight Loss Products, Gastrointestinal Products, Skin Products, Minerals and Vitamin Supplements, Sleeping Aids), By Distribution Channel (Drug Stores & Retail Pharmacies, Hospital Pharmacies, & Online Pharmacies), By Region (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East, and Africa), Analysis and Forecast 2022 – 2032

Industry: Healthcare


Global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market Insights Forecasts to 2032

  • The Global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market Size was valued at USD 163 Billion in 2022.
  • The Market Size is Growing at a CAGR of 5.0% from 2022 to 2032.
  • The Worldwide Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market size is expected to reach USD 265 Billion by 2032.
  • Europe is expected to Grow the fastest during the forecast period.

Global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market

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The Global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market Size is expected to reach USD 265 Billion by 2032, at a CAGR of 5.0% during the forecast period 2022 to 2032.


Market Overview

The pharmaceutical sector will increase through a continuous transition away from prescription (Rx) and toward over-the-counter (OTC) medications among developing countries, particularly the US. Pharma behemoths are quickly converting to OTC business models, enabling pharmacies to make up for revenue losses brought on by worries about prescription medicine patent infringement. OTC has various advantages, including simple off-the-shelf availability, economic effectiveness, and increased accessibility. However, without a prescription from a doctor, consumers can purchase over-the-counter (OTC) medications that are regarded as safe. These goods are legally sold without a prescription and can be found in hospital pharmacies, medical supply stores, and occasionally even supermarket stores. Symptoms of the common cold, body aches, allergies, the flu, heartburn, acne, and other elementary health issues are treated using over-the-counter (OTC) medications.


Report Coverage

This research report categorizes the global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs market based on various segments and regions forecasts revenue growth and analyses trends in each submarket. The report analyses the key growth drivers, opportunities, and challenges influencing the global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs market. Recent market developments and competitive strategies such as expansion, product launch, and development, partnership, merger, and acquisition have been included to draw the competitive landscape in the market. The report strategically identifies and profiles the key market players and analyses their core competencies in each sub-segment of the global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs market. Technological innovation and advancement will further optimize the performance of the product, enabling it to acquire a wider range of applications in the downstream market.


Global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market Report Coverage

Report CoverageDetails
Base Year:2022
Market Size in 2022:USD 163 Billion
Forecast Period:2022-2032
Forecast Period CAGR 2022-2032 :5.0%
2032 Value Projection:USD 265 Billion
Historical Data for:2018-2021
No. of Pages:200
Tables, Charts & Figures:120
Segments covered:By Product, By Distribution Channel, By Region
Companies covered::Merck & Co. Inc., Novartis AG, AERIE Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Akorn Operating Company LLC, Cipla Inc., AbbVie, Bausch & Lomb Incorporated, Inotek Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer Inc.Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. And other key venders
Pitfalls & Challenges:COVID-19 Empact,Challenges, Future, Growth, & Analysis

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Driving Factors

The global over-the-counter medicine market is anticipated to increase at a faster rate over the forecast period due to pharmaceutical companies' inclination toward OTC drugs rather than Rx drugs. Rx-to-OTC switch refers to the conversion of effective prescription medications to over-the-counter (OTC) status. Because of the significant savings for the user, OTC medications are increasingly popular with consumers worldwide. Also, over the projected period, a favorable regulatory environment is anticipated to boost the growth of the global market for over-the-counter medications. For instance, OTC medications are created via the New Drug Application (NDA) Process or the OTC Monograph Process. For the marketing of non-prescription medication products not covered by new drug applications, OTC monographs serve as regulatory requirements. Most over-the-counter medications are governed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through the OTC monograph procedure.


Restraining Factors

The expansion of the worldwide over-the-counter drug industry is anticipated to be constrained by several problems, including inaccurate self-diagnosis that results in the use of ineffective medications. There have been numerous pharmaceutical errors and negative physical repercussions from over-the-counter cough and cold remedies. The market expansion is further hampered by drug abuse and addiction behaviors.


Market Segmentation

  • In 2022, the gastrointestinal products segment is dominating the largest market share during the forecast period.

Based on product, the global over the counter (OTC) drugs market is segmented into different segments such as analgesics, cold, cough & flu products, weight loss products, gastrointestinal products, skin products, minerals and vitamin supplements, sleeping aids. Among these segments, the gastrointestinal products segment is expected to have significant development potential during the forecast period. OTC medications will become more prevalent as a result of an increase in gastrointestinal illnesses brought on by unhealthy dietary and lifestyle choices. The incidence of intestinal cancer has climbed by 26% while death has increased by 17% during the past two decades.  The demand for gastrointestinal products like laxatives and antacids is increasing as a result of problems like heartburn, constipation, nausea, and others brought on by modern lifestyle choices.


  • In 2022, the retail pharmacies segment is dominating the largest market share during the forecast period.

On the basis of distribution channel, the over the counter (OTC) drugs market is bifurcated into different types such as drug stores & retail pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, & online pharmacies. Among these segments, the retail pharmacies segment is dominating the market with the largest revenue share during the forecast period. Throughout the world, there are a lot of retail pharmacies. These pharmacies serve as the main sources for providing individuals with cheap access to pharmaceuticals and healthcare. In addition to offering free consultations, retail pharmacies provide access to a wide range of OTC and prescription medications. Many nations are investing in retail pharmacies as part of their ongoing efforts to improve healthcare infrastructure and accessibility. An increase in healthcare entity collaborations will also accelerate market development.


Regional Segment Analysis of the Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market

  • North America (U.S., Canada, Mexico) 
  • Europe (Germany, France, U.K., Italy, Spain, Rest of Europe)
  • Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, India, Rest of APAC)
  • South America (Brazil and the Rest of South America) 
  • The Middle East and Africa (UAE, South Africa, Rest of MEA)


North America led the market with the largest market share during the forecast period


Global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market

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North America is dominating significant market growth over the forecast period due to consumers increasingly choosing over-the-counter (OTC) medications over prescription ones. The market for over-the-counter medications in North America is expanding as a result of rising over-the-counter medication usage. 85% of parents prefer to treat minor illnesses in their children with over-the-counter medications before seeking professional help, and 93% of adults in the U.S. prefer to treat minor illnesses with over-the-counter medications before doing so. Additionally, the market for over-the-counter medications in North America is expanding as people increasingly prefer them to prescription medications.


Europe is expected to see the quickest growth over the projection period due to the prevalence of self-medication and the large number of companies that produce over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceuticals there. The market boom in this area is also being driven by a rise in public knowledge of over-the-counter (OTC) medications.


Competitive Analysis

The report offers the appropriate analysis of the key organizations/companies involved within the global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs market along with a comparative evaluation primarily based on their product offering, business overviews, geographic presence, enterprise strategies, segment market share, and SWOT analysis. The report also provides an elaborative analysis focusing on the current news and developments of the companies, which includes product development, innovations, joint ventures, partnerships, mergers & acquisitions, strategic alliances, and others. This allows for the evaluation of the overall competition within the market.


List of Key Companies

  • Merck & Co. Inc.
  • Novartis AG
  • AERIE Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Akorn Operating Company LLC
  • Cipla Inc.
  • AbbVie
  • Bausch & Lomb Incorporated
  • Inotek Pharmaceuticals
  • Pfizer Inc.
  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
  • Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.


Key Target Audience

  • Market Players
  • Investors
  • End-users
  • Government Authorities 
  • Consulting And Research Firm
  • Venture capitalists
  • Value-Added Resellers (VARs)


Recent Development

  • In June 2023, to satisfy expanding consumer demand and changing patient needs, MCKESSON CORPORATION, a diversified pharmaceutical firm, introduced Foster & Thrive, a curated private brand of OTC health and wellness products.
  • In July 2022, AFT Pharmaceuticals, a New Zealand-based firm, and RLG Limited, an online retailer and digital marketing agency, collaborated to introduce a variety of over-the-counter medications through the Tmall Global online store.
  • In June 2022, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. purchased a collection of Wockhardt's OTC abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) that had been authorized there. The company's OTC portfolio in the United States was boosted by the purchased ANDAs.


Market Segment

This study forecasts revenue at global, regional, and country levels from 2022 to 2032. Spherical Insights has segmented the Global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market based on the below-mentioned segments:


Global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market, By Product Type

  • Analgesics
  • Cold
  • Cough & Flu Products
  • Weight Loss Products
  • Gastrointestinal Products
  • Skin Products
  • Minerals and Vitamin Supplements
  • Sleeping Aids


Global Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market, By Distribution Channel

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


Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs Market, By Regional Analysis

  • North America
    • US
    • Canada
    • Mexico
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • Uk
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Russia
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • South Korea
    • Australia
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • South America
    • Brazil
    • Argentina
    • Rest of South America
  • Middle East & Africa
    • UAE
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Qatar
    • South Africa
    • Rest of the Middle East & Africa

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