Number of parapharmacies in Italy 2007-2018

The number of parapharmacies in Italy grew remarkably over time. In 2007, there were 1,638 parapharmacies in the country. Thereafter, the number grew steadily until 2016, before slightly decreasing in 2017 and 2018. Parapharmacies are shops that sell pharmaceutical products for which a medical prescription is not required. These are commonly called non-prescription and over the counter (OTC) products.

 OTC market

Between 2017 and 2018, health supplements were the products generating the highest turnover among OTC products. Also, health supplements experienced the fastest growth between 2017 and 2018, as the revenues that these products generated had a year-on-year growth of 5.2 percent. Regarding the annual growth of new OTC products, personal care was the best-performing segment.

Expenditure on OTC pharmaceuticals

The share of private retail pharmaceutical expenditure spent on OTC products increased from 11 percent in 2007 to 13.7 percent in 2017. Pertaining to the regional spending on OTC, the Autonomous Provinces of Bolzano and Trento allocated the greatest share of the private pharmaceutical product expenditure on OTC, just followed by Aosta Valley. By contrast, Calabria and Basilicata were the regions where people spent the lowest percentage of pharmaceutical expenditure on OTC.

Number of parapharmacies in Italy from 2007 to 2018

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Survey time period

2007 to 2018

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