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The World Market for Over The Counter (OTC) Drugs


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Over-the-counter (OTC), non-legend, and non-prescription are all adjectives describing drugs that an individual may purchase without a prescription.  Many pharmaceutical companies seeking more revenue and international exposure have found an opportunity in the development of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. OTC drugs are sold to consumers by convenience and grocery stores. However, new technology has allowed a new range of outlets including online sales and catalog. Drugs included in OTC segments are pain relievers, cough and cold remedies, sleeping aids, antifungals, and other products approved for use as a self-medication product.

For the purpose of this study, Kalorama Information has divided products into five general segments:

  • Analgesics
  • Allergy, Cough, Cold, Flu Remedies
  • Gastrointestinal Remedies
  • Dermatologics
  • Others, including:
    • Smoking cessation products
    • Sleepaids
    • Hair growth remedies
    • Diet aids
Revenues for each segment were generated using dollar and unit sales for key products in each segment and region. The report provides examples of OTC drugs in each general region, segmented as follows:
  • Asia Pacific and Africa
  • Europe
  • North America
  • South America
The report includes incidence of conditions which are often treated with OTC medicines, health statistics related to the industry, birth rates, world population, populations by region and issues affecting the market as a whole. Information is presented as a worldwide overview, with special emphasis on the U.S., Japan, Germany, and other key markets. The market segments provide an overview of demographics, overview of products available in each region, market estimates and forecasts. Additionally, a competitive analysis of leading providers and profiles of providers is covered.

The information for this report was gathered using both primary and secondary research including comprehensive research of secondary sources such as company literature, databases, investment reports, and medical and business journals. Telephone interviews and email correspondence were the primary method of gathering information. For the purpose of this study, Kalorama Information conducted interviews with more than 50 key industry officials, consultants, health care providers, and government personnel. These sources were the primary basis in gathering information specifically relating to revenue and market share data presented in this report. Additional interviews were completed with relevant company representatives including marketing directors, division managers, and product representatives.

All market data pertains to the world market at the manufacturers’ level. The base year for data was 2011. Historical data was provided for the years 2007 through 2010, with forecast data provided for 2012 through 2015. Compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) are provided for the 2007-2011 and 2011-2015 periods for each region and/or segment covered. Competitive analysis is provided for the year 2011 with some reference for 2009 and 2010. The forecasted market analysis for 2011-2015 was largely based on demographic trends, new developments, and global expansion.


Of the many developments in the Over the Counter Drug market noted by Kalorama Information in this report, there has been a notable increased interest  in consumer care divisions by leading companies such as Sanofi andBoehringer Ingelheim.  The switch of Allegra to OTC was an important strategic move forSanofi and one of the key reasons for the purchase of Chattem in 2009. 

Boehringer Ingelheim also expanded its investment in OTC with the creation ofRx-to-OTC switch unit in 2010, increasing global expansion--specifically inAsian markets, and new OTC product introductions in categories with limitedtreatments.  More details on these types of developments at these and other companies are covered in this report.  

  • Executive Summary
    • BACKGROUND
    • SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY
    • SIZE AND GROWTH OF THE MARKET
      • Table Total World OTC Market Analysis, 2007-2015
    • KEY ISSUES AND TRENDS AFFECTING MARKET
    • LEADING COMPETITORS
  • Introduction
    • BACKGROUND
    • DISTRIBUTION AND SAFETY ISSUES IN THE UNITED STATES
    • CONSUMER ADVERTISING/PROMOTION
    • WORLD HEALTH AND LIFE EXPECTANCY
      • Life Expectancy
        • Table Average Life Expectancy in Years by Country 1980, 2004 and 2011
      • Birth Rates
        • Table Crude Birth Rate per 1,000 Persons 2000, 2005 and Projected 2012 and 2020
      • Tobacco Use
        • Table Percent of Smokers by Country
      • Obesity
        • Table Percent of Obese* Population, 2008
    • DECLINING GROWTH OF THE WORLD POPULATION
      • Table World Population 1980 to 2050
    • PRESCRIPTION VS. OVER-THE-COUNTER INDUSTRY
      • Table Total Pharmaceutical Markets, Prescription vs. Non-Prescription by Country, 2011
      • Rx-to-OTC Switch Industry
        • Table Leading FDA Approved Rx-to-OTC Switches, 1994-2011
        • Table Statistics for Selected Rx-to-OTC Switches (United States)
      • Rx-to-OTC Switch Forecast in the United States
        • Table Potential Rx-to-OTC Switches, 2012-2015
    • ECONOMIC TRENDS
      • Table Total Healthcare Expenditures as a Percent of GDP by Country 1990, 2000 and 2009
      • Purchasing Power Trends
        • Table Gross National Income Comparison by Country 2000-2010
      • U.S. Healthcare Market
        • Table National Healthcare Expenditures in the United States 1960-2015
      • U.S. Healthcare Challenges
    • HEALTH INSURANCE ISSUES AND TRENDS
      • Table Health Insurance Trends in the United States 2005-2009
      • Healthcare Flexible Spending Accounts and OTC Medicines
    • CONSUMER ISSUES AND TRENDS
      • U.S Consumers
      • Consumers Around the World
    • ACCESS TO PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL SERVICES AND THE LINK TO SELF-MEDICATION
      • Table Practicing Physicians per 1,000 Population by Country, 2000-2008
      • Online Resources for Health Information
    • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
      • Revisions to Pharmaceutical Affairs Law (PAL) in Japan
      • Russian Beneficiary Drug Provision Program
      • A Third Class of Drugs in the United States
  • OTC Markets in Asia-Pacific and Africa
    • OVERVIEW
    • DEMOGRAPHICS
      • Table Total Midyear Population by the Five Most Populated Countries in Asia-Pacific, 2005-2025
      • Table Total Midyear Population in Africa by Region, 1995-2025
    • OTC PRODUCT SEGMENTS
      • Table Examples of Marketed OTC Products in Asia-Pacific and Africa (Product Name by Type and Marketer)
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Asia-Pacific/Africa OTC Market as a Percentage of World Market, 2007, 2011 and 2015
      • Table Asia-Pacific/Africa OTC Market Analysis, 2007-2015
      • OTC Product Segment Market Analysis
        • Table Asia-Pacific/Africa OTC Market Analysis by Product Segment, 2007-2015
      • Markets by Country
        • Table Asia-Pacific/Africa OTC Market Analysis by Selected Country, 2011
  • OTC Markets in Europe
    • OVERVIEW
    • DEMOGRAPHICS
      • Table Total Midyear Population by the Five Most Populated Countries in Europe, 2005-2025
    • OTC PRODUCT SEGMENTS
      • Table Examples of Marketed OTC Products in Europe (Product Name by Type and Marketer)
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table European OTC Market as a Percentage of World Market, 2007, 2011 and 2015
      • Table European OTC Market Analysis, 2007-2015
      • OTC Product Segment Market Analysis
        • Table European OTC Market Analysis, Markets by Product Segment, 2007-2015
      • Markets by Country
        • Table European OTC Market Analysis by Selected Country, 2011
  • OTC Markets in North America
    • OVERVIEW
    • DEMOGRAPHICS
      • Table Total Midyear Population by the Five Most Populated Countries in North America, 2005-2025
    • OTC PRODUCT SEGMENTS
      • Table Examples of Marketed OTC Products in North America (Product Name by Type and Marketer)
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table North American OTC Market as a Percentage of World Market, 2007, 2011 and 2015
      • Table North American OTC Market Analysis, 2007-2015
      • OTC Product Segment Market Analysis
        • Table North American OTC Market Analysis by Product Segment, 2007-2015
      • Markets by Country
        • Table North American OTC Market Analysis by Selected Country, 2011
  • OTC Markets in South America
    • OVERVIEW
    • DEMOGRAPHICS
      • Table Total Midyear Population by the Five Most Populated Countries in South America, 2005-2025
    • OTC PRODUCT SEGMENTS
      • Table Examples of Marketed OTC Products in South America (Product Name by Type and Marketer)
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table South American OTC Market as a Percentage of World Market, 2007, 2011 and 2015
      • Table South American OTC Market Analysis, 2007-2015
      • OTC Product Segment Market Analysis
        • Table South American OTC Market Analysis by Product Segment, 2007-2015
      • Markets by Country
        • Table South American OTC Market Analysis by Selected Country, 2011
  • Summary of World OTC Markets
    • OVERVIEW
      • Table Total World OTC Market Analysis, 2007-2015
      • OTC Product Segment Market Analysis
        • Table Total World OTC Market Analysis, Markets by Product Segment, 2007-2015
      • Markets by Country
        • Table Top Ten World OTC Markets by Country, 2011
  • Leading OTC Manufacturers
    • OVERVIEW
    • COMPETITOR ANALYSIS
      • Table Leading Suppliers Shares of the OTC Market by Estimated Revenues-2009, 2010 and 2011
    • SIGNIFICANT AGREEMENTS,MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
      • Procter & Gamble and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
      • Sanofi and Chattem Consumer
      • Schering-Plough and Merck & Co.
      • Wyeth and Pfizer
      • Reckitt Benckiser and Adams Respiratory Therapeutics
      • Bristol-Myers Squibb and Novartis AG
      • Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer
      • Reckitt Benckiser and Boots Healthcare
      • Bayer and Roche
    • LEADING CORPORATE PROFILES
      • BAYER HEALTHCARE AG
      • BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM GMBH
      • GLAXOSMITHKLINE
      • MC NEIL CONSUMER
      • MERCK
      • NOVARTIS CONSUMER
      • PFIZER
      • PROCTER & GAMBLE
      • RECKITT BENCKISER
      • SANOFI
      • TAISHO PHARMACEUTICAL
  • List of Major Companies

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