OTC cough/cold/sore throat medicines sales in Great Britain 2014-2017

The total sales value of over-the-counter (OTC) cough, cold and sore throat medicines amounted to almost 493 million British pounds in 2017. OTC refers to a class of medication that can be sold without the need for a prescription. Cold and flu decongestants generated the highest sales value in this category at 267.1 million British pounds, followed by medicated confectionary at 124 million British pounds.

Leading brands in the market

In the UK in 2017, the leading cold, flu and decongestant brand by sales value was Lemsip with a sales value of almost 63 million British pounds. Sudafed and Strepsils both followed with a sales value of approximately 34 million British pounds in 2017

Prescribed medication

At the same time as the OTC market has been increasing, the number of prescription items dispensed has likewise increased in the same period. In 2017/18, there were over one billion items dispensed in England. As a result, the average number of prescription items dispensed per month at pharmacies in England came to approximately 7.3 thousand in 2017/18.

Sales value of over-the-counter (OTC) cough/cold/sore throat medicines in Great Britain in 2014 and 2017, by category

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Release date

May 2018


United Kingdom (Great Britain)

Survey time period

2014 to 2017

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Statistics on "Over-the-counter medicine industry in the United Kingdom"

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