OTC Pharmaceuticals - Worldwide

  • Worldwide
  • Revenue in the OTC Pharmaceuticals market amounts to US$193.10bn in 2023. The market is expected to grow annually by 4.76% (CAGR 2023-2028).
  • The market's largest market is the market Cold & Cough Remedies with a market volume of US$41.27bn in 2023.
  • In global comparison, most revenue is generated in the United States (US$39,310.00m in 2023).
  • In relation to total population figures, per person revenues of US$25.13 are generated in 2023.
  • In the OTC Pharmaceuticals market, 26.41% of total revenue will be generated through online sales by 2023.

Key regions: United States, China, Germany, Japan, Europe

Region comparison

Analyst Opinion

OTC pharmaceuticals provide affordable medical opportunities not only for the healthcare system but also for consumers in order to meet their everyday healthcare needs, from avoiding doctor’s office visits to saving time. The COVID-19 pandemic had various impacts on different OTC industries. The rising awareness of self-care drives the growth in nutritional and hygiene markets such as Vitamins & Minerals and Hand Sanitizer. However, growing cautiousness and hygiene regulations lead to a reduction in demand for cough and cold products. In 2022, the global OTC Pharmaceuticals market reached US$137.03 billion.

Due to different national legislations and healthcare standards, the consumption of OTC pharmaceuticals and purchasing behavior regarding these products differ significantly from country to country. The worldwide improvement in access to healthcare and pharmaceuticals accelerates the growth in this industry. Another significant driver of the OTC Pharmaceuticals market is the trend in shifting from prescription drugs to self-medication, resulting in a higher availability and diversity of self-care OTC products. A critical factor that limits the growth of the OTC Pharmaceuticals market are inaccurate self-diagnostics leading to medication errors. Government regulations and legal restrictions can also slow down the market growth.

In the forecast period, the market exhibits steady growth at a CAGR of around 5%, which returns to pre-COVID levels once the pandemic is over.


Data coverage:

Data encompasses B2C spend. Figures are based on the OTC Pharmaceuticals market values, representing revenues generated by both product sales which take place exclusively in pharmacies and products which can be purchased elsewhere. Sales by hospitals are not included.

Modeling approach / Market size:

Market sizes are determined by a combined top-down and bottom-up approach, based on a specific rationale for each market market. As a basis for evaluating markets, we use data from national statistical offices, international institutions, trade associations, and self-medication associations. Next, we use relevant key market indicators and data from country-specific associations, such as consumer healthcare spending, out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure, health system accessibilities, and GDP. This data helps us estimate the market size for each country individually.


In our forecasts, we apply diverse forecasting techniques. The selection of forecasting techniques is based on the behavior of the particular market. For example, forecasts are based on historical developments, current trends, and key market indicators, using advanced statistical methods.

Additional notes:

Data is modeled in US$ using current exchange rates. The market is updated twice per year in case market dynamics change. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is considered at a country-specific level. Whereas this market covers only OTC drugs, the Statista Pharmaceuticals market covers both OTC and prescription drugs.


  • Revenue
  • Analyst Opinion
  • Sales Channels
  • Key Players
  • Global Comparison
  • Methodology
  • Key Market Indicators
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