Self-medication in Italy - Statistics and facts

Over the last year, Italian pharmacies generated revenues of nearly six billion euros by selling self-medication products, with sales volume amounting to over 480 million units. In terms of market size annual growth, the fastest-growing therapeutic categories were nervous system and vitamins and minerals. The former was also the category with the largest share of revenue generated from new brands and line extensions .

On the other hand, with reference to market share, the two best performing therapeutic categories were respiratory and gastrointestinal. Regarding brands, Tachipirina led the market of OTC (over-the-counter) and non-prescription drugs and it ranked first among the most popular cold remedies in terms of sales value. Among cough medicines, Fluibron is among the best performing products. Regarding non-prescription drugs to treat disorders of the gastro-intestinal tract, laxatives and probiotics were the product categories generating the largest revenues.

Today, minor health issues such as cold and cough, headache or stomach ache are quite widespread. In Italy, most of the population reported to deal from time to time with stress-related disorders, most often a headache. In such common cases, self-medication is the solution, with medicine that does not require medical supervision. The recourse to self-medication products is reasonably frequent among the Italian population, especially when it comes to treating gastro-intestinal problems or general stress-related disorders. Nonetheless, physicians and pharmacists are still consulted, particularly if a person takes medicine for the first time.

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