Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs also called as non-prescription drugs are medicines that do not require prescription from healthcare professionals for selling it to consumers. Consumer can follow the instruction mentioned on label and these drugs are safe to use. These drugs are available at pharmacies, supermarkets, general stores, and gas stations across several countries. However, these drugs are solely authorized for dispense by pharmacists, after confirming age, identity, and patient’s knowledge regarding the product and its utility.
Increasing prevalence of digestion disorders, common flu, and cold is driving growth of the Over-the-counter Drugs Market
According to American Nutrition Association, 2016, around 70 million people suffer from some form of digestion disorder such as indigestion, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, and constipation daily. Patients suffering from these conditions are reported to use non-prescription medicines. OTC drugs widely used to treat symptoms of cold and flu worldwide. Increasing prevalence of viral infections causing cold and flu is creating a favorable environment for growth of OTC drugs market.
According to Australian Health Direct, over 200 viruses present worldwide can cause cold and adults are susceptible to these viruses around 2-4 times annually. The same source also suggests that the cold and flu symptoms are usually mild to moderate and self-limiting, which is propelling demand for over-the-counter drugs, in turn fueling growth of the market.
North America to hold the leading position in the global over-the-counter drugs market, owing to well established healthcare structure
On the basis of geography, the global over-the-counter drugs market is segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. North America holds a dominant position in the global over-the-counter drugs market, followed by Europe, owing to growing patient awareness regarding consumption of OTC drugs, leading to self-medication practices. According to Consumer Healthcare Protection Act 2015, an estimated 81% adults in the U.S. use OTC medicines as their first response to minor ailments.
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Key players operating in the global over-the-counter drugs market include Alkem Laboratories Limited, GlaxoSmithKline Plc., Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Cipla Ltd., Johnson and Johnson Inc., Pfizer, Inc., Novartis AG, Merck KGaA, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
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