Over-the-Counter (OTC) Drugs Market 2019 Growth, Opportunities, Industry Applications, Analysis and Forecast
Category: #health  By Partha Ray  Date: 2019-09-10
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Over-the-Counter (OTC) Drugs Market 2019 Growth, Opportunities, Industry Applications, Analysis and Forecast

With well-informed consumers leaning toward self-medication and demanding cost reduction in healthcare, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs market outlook has been witnessing a dramatic transformation in the last few years. Since OTC drugs do not require a doctor’s visit or a known prescription, these drugs are quite cost and time effective. Many regulatory bodies across the globe that are responsible for deciding which drugs should be available over the counter and which should be sold only based on a prescription, are now shifting an increasing number of medicines from the prescription to over-the-counter segment. A study by CHPA in fact, had stated decades earlier, that this paradigm switch is likely to save close to USD 20 billion every year. The backdrop of cost-saving coupled with public demand has indeed propelled OTC drugs industry that is expected to depict a profitable growth path over 2017-2024.

Vitamins, minerals, and health supplements comprise an essential chunk of global OTC drugs market. Consumers in developed nations such as U.S., UK, Germany, and Japan who are more aware of the benefits of taking vitamins and minerals as supplements, have depicted a tendency to purchase such medicines and administer them without the requirement of a visit to the doctor. With changing lifestyle demands such as requirement for weight loss, increased hair growth, and more, many consumers have been increasingly depending on OTC drugs, which is likely to massively stimulate over-the-counter drugs market share. Apart from supplements though, cold, cough, and flu medication and analgesics constitute a major share of OTC drugs market. Like health supplements, these are also used by consumers without the requirement of prior advice from the doctor, owing to which OTC drugs market size from these segments has been exhibiting an exponential growth graph.

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The OTC drugs industry has been stimulated by intensive consumer demand for making certain drugs available to the public without the requirement of a prescription. For instance, lately it has been debated in the US that the birth control pill should be made available to consumers without the requirement of a prescription just like the condom. As instructions for safe usage of hormonal birth control pills are very clearly mentioned in every medication pack, it is being argued by many that women need not require a doctor’s prescription for the same. The FDA at present is in discussions regarding the same, and in the event of approval, the switching of birth control pills from the prescription to OTC category will provide a major stimulus to the OTC drugs market.

It is prudent to note that consumer demand also borders on the subject of making STI and chronic disease medication available over the counter. Numerous people afflicted with chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer are known to lead rather stressful lives. In consequence, it is being argued that if they would be able to acquire medication without requiring a visit to the doctor every time, it would decrease some of their stress. Many people apparently skip medication for STIs, solely on the premise of embarrassment or fear of judgement – deterrents that can be eradicated if STI medications are available without prescription. This circumstance has encouraged regulatory bodies to switch many medicines from prescription to OTC category, which has propelled U.S. OTC drugs market, which now boasts of more than 700 products.

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The growing appetite for self-medication and healthcare cost curtailment has led to OTC drugs market expansion in major economies of the world. The U.S. with China and Japan accounted for nearly 50% of the OTC drugs industry share in 2016. The growth of the OTC drugs industry might slow down in the US due to market saturation, but is expected to increase with a phenomenal rate in China, owing to the growing geriatric population in the country. Europe OTC drugs market size is also expected to witness major expansion, driven by the fact that the governments of countries such as UK and Germany have been striving to decrease healthcare costs.

Regulatory bodies have been stringent about controlling the usage of certain drugs by keeping them confined to the prescription segment, as these drugs can be used for substance abuse. However, the growing demand from consumers about decreasing the restraints on drugs for chronic diseases and the rapidly increasing awareness regarding the correct usage of drugs will continue to stimulate OTC drugs industry. As per estimates, OTC drugs market size, which was pegged at USD 114 billion in 2016, is forecast to witness a CAGR of 5% between 2017 and 2024.

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About Author

Partha Ray    

Partha Ray

Partha is into digital marketing since the last 3 years and has worked on multiple projects across various industries. An Computer Science engineer by education, he has prior experience in software development. His other interests include playing cricket & Hockey.

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