The global pharmaceutical market is valued at more than USD 1.2 trillion and comprises prescription drugs and over the counter (OTC) drugs. OTC drugs, being general-purpose medications do not require prescriptions. The U.S. pharmaceutical industry is highly globalized, and the country holds more than 40% of the global pharmaceutical market share. The increasing need to reduce healthcare expenditure and rising public demand for self-medication have significantly expanded the U.S. OTC drugs market.
OTC drugs are cheaper than prescription drugs, and the sales of OTC medicines exceed the sales of prescription medicines sales as OTC drugs provide affordable treatment options for both consumers and the U.S. healthcare system. Per a CHPA research study, the U.S. healthcare system has created approximately USD 146 billion annual savings due to the availability of OTC medicines.
Driving Forces in the U.S. OTC Drugs Market Include Rx-to-OTC Switches of Former Blockbuster Brands and Increasing Use of Self-Medication among Consumers
- The growing inclination for self-medication and focus on reducing healthcare expenditure fuels the growth of the North American OTC drugs market.
- The rising consumer demand for the availability of certain drugs without a prescription is likely to enable the growth of the OTC drug companies.
- The increasing prevalence of infections and diseases will enable vendors to gain a larger OTC drug market share.
- Ease of accessibility and affordability for consumers is gaining popularity in the market.
Recent Trends Such as Online Sales and Launch of Private Labels at Cheaper Prices are Factors for the Exponential Growth of the Market
- Growing massive demand for dietary supplements and analgesics will boost the U.S. OTC drugs market size.
- The growing demand for private label & online sales due to lower prices will revolutionize the S. online pharmacy market.
Growing Awareness of General Health and COVID-19 to Boost the Dietary Supplements Segment
Based on product type, the market is segmented into analgesics, gastrointestinal, ophthalmic, dermatology, cold & cough products, dietary supplements, and others. In 2020, the cold & cough drugs segment occupied the highest U.S. over-the-counter (OTC) drugs market share. The segment occupies a revenue of more than USD 5 billion. The analgesics segment holds the second largest share with more than USD 3 billion in revenue. The dietary supplements market is likely to be the fastest-growing segment due to the growing incidences of lifestyle disorders and awareness of general health maintenance.
Rising Incidence of Infections and Growing Awareness of Personal Health to Boost the Market
Based on indication, the market is segmented into infection pain, immune/health booster, weight loss, and others. The infection pain segment holds a significant share of the OTC pharmaceutical market as antifungals, antihelminthics, and yeast treatment are among the top-selling OTC drugs. The immune/health booster segment is anticipated to be the fastest-growing segment due to the pandemic. The rising trend of multivitamins, minerals, and weight loss products uptake to help maintain personal health drives the demand for immune/health boosters.
Consumer Convenience and Ease of Price Comparison to Boost the Online Pharmacies Segment
Based on distribution channels, the market is segmented into hospital pharmacies, retail pharmacies, online pharmacies, and others (supermarkets and convenience stores). Retail pharmacies hold a major share, and the online pharmacies segment is anticipated to be the fastest-growing market. It is estimated that approximately 25% of OTC drug sales were online in 2020 and are anticipated to grow further in the US. The growing consumer expectations for convenience, multiple product options, and the ability to compare prices boost the online pharmacies segment.
The U.S. OTC drugs market is highly fragmented with the major players offering a wide range of products. Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline., Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis, Merck & Co., and Bayer are among the top pharmaceutical /biopharmaceutical companies in the consumer-healthcare business. Other prominent players include Abbott Laboratories, Perrigo Company, Achelios Therapeutics, American Health, Amgen, AccuDial Pharmaceutical, Procter & Gamble Company, Allergan, Elite Pharmaceuticals, Innovus Pharmaceuticals, Arena Pharmaceuticals, Reckitt Benckiser, Taisho Pharmaceutical, and Boehringer Ingelheim, among others.
The competition among the US OTC drug companies continues to grow. The introduction of private labels and increasing mergers & acquisitions are propelling the market growth. Bayer acquired Merck’s and strengthened its OTC drug sales. The joint venture of GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis broadened their portfolios of OTC brands. The market is anticipated to be highly competitive, where the vendors are exploring opportunities to innovate products and formulations. Furthermore, the rising Rx to OTC drug switch is also propelling the growth of the market. Over the last 30 years, the FDA has converted more than 700 prescription drugs to OTC status, which is anticipated to rise in the coming years.
- Pharmaceutical Companies
- Online Pharmacies
- Retail Chain Pharmacies
- Venture Capitalists and Investors
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The U.S. OTC drugs market research report will include in-depth coverage of the industry analysis with revenue and forecast insights for the following segments:
Segmentation by Product Type
- Cold and Cough Products
- Health & Dietary Supplements
Segmentation by Indication
- Infection Pain
- Immune/Health Booster
- Weight Loss
Segmentation by Distribution Channel
- Hospital Pharmacies
- Retail Pharmacies
- Online Pharmacies
- Convenience Stores
Segmentation by Geography