Europe Over-the-Counter (OTC) Drug Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2020 - 2025)

The market is segmented by Product (Analgesics, Cough, Cold and Flu Products, Dermatological Products, Gastrointestinal Products, Vitamins, Minerals, Weight-Loss Products, Sleep Aids, Ophthalmic Products, Smoking Cessation Aids, and Other Products), and Geography.

Market Snapshot

Study Period:


Base Year:


Major Players:

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Market Overview

Europe over-the-counter (OTC) drug market was valued at USD 49.67 billion in 2018 and is estimated to be valued at USD XX billion in 2024, witnessing a CAGR of 3.10%. Factors driving the market growth include increasing self-medication, new product launches, and cost savings enabled by OTC use.

The rising healthcare costs demand better accessibility and affordability of healthcare services. Self-medication with non-prescription drugs plays a vital role in this aspect and helps improve the accessibility while providing cost benefits There is an increase in self-medication in Europe. According to the Association of the European Self-medication Industry, one out of two packages of medicines sold in Europe is a non-prescription medicinal product. Widespread use of OTC medications has been linked with significant cost benefits to the healthcare providers of various countries. OTC medicines provide consumers with the opportunity to take adequate care of themselves when consulting a physician/doctor is not necessary. This saves resources for the healthcare providers, in particular, thus allowing them to divert their resources to more pressing healthcare issues.

Scope of the Report

The European OTC drug market has been segmented based on product type and geography. By product, the market studied has been segmented into distinct categories, including analgesics, cough, cold and flu products, dermatological products, gastrointestinal products, vitamins, minerals, weight-loss products, sleep aids, ophthalmic products, smoking cessation aids, and other products. Geographically, the market has been segmented into six regions France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, and Rest of Europe.

By Product
Cough, Cold, and Flu Products
Dermatological Products
Gastrointestinal Products
Weight Loss/Dietary Products
Ophthalmic Products
Sleep Aids
Smoking Cessation Aids
Rest of Europe

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Key Market Trends

Cough, Cold, and Flu Products segment is Expected to hold Largest Market Share

The Cough, Cold, and Flu Products segment holds the largest market share and is growing at the fastest rate. The increasing volume of use of Over-the-Counter (OTC) drugs in the cough/cold/flu category is driven by a rise in the number of individuals affected by these conditions. The growing prevalence of these common diseases (i.e., cough, cold, and flu) has led the patients to use OTC drugs, as these drugs are readily available and can be bought without a doctor’s prescription. This saves both time and cost required to visit a physician/hospital. Consumers depend on OTC cough and cold medicines as a first response to seek quick relief from symptoms. OTC product such as throat lozenges, provide immediate relief from throat tickles and contribute to the market as well. Owing to their easy procurement and increasing market demand, the sale of OTC drugs for cough, cold, and flu is increasing in Europe.

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Competitive Landscape

The European OTC market is highly competitive and consists of several major players. Most of the OTC products are generic drugs thus competitive advantage through product innovation is not possible, and major players primarily compete through product branding and competitive pricing practices. In terms of market share, few of the major players currently dominate the market. However, several generic players are increasing their market presence by introducing new generic OTC drugs with less prices. Companies like AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer, and Cardinal Health holds the substantial market share in Europe over the counter (OTC) drugs market.

Table Of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Deliverables

    2. 1.2 Study Assumptions

    3. 1.3 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Market Drivers

      1. 4.2.1 Increasing Self-Medication in Europe

      2. 4.2.2 Immense Cost Savings

      3. 4.2.3 Increasing New Product Launches

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints

      1. 4.3.1 High Probability of OTC Drug Abuse

      2. 4.3.2 Incorrect Self Diagnosis

      3. 4.3.3 Lack of Awareness

    4. 4.4 Porter's Five Force Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.4.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 By Product

      1. 5.1.1 Cough, Cold, and Flu Products

      2. 5.1.2 Analgesics

      3. 5.1.3 Dermatological Products

      4. 5.1.4 Gastrointestinal Products

      5. 5.1.5 Vitamins

      6. 5.1.6 Minerals

      7. 5.1.7 Weight Loss/Dietary Products

      8. 5.1.8 Ophthalmic Products

      9. 5.1.9 Sleep Aids

      10. 5.1.10 Smoking Cessation Aids

      11. 5.1.11 Others

    2. 5.2 Geography

      1. 5.2.1 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. UK

        3. France

        4. Italy

        5. Spain

        6. Rest of Europe


    1. 6.1 Company Profiles

      1. 6.1.1 AstraZeneca PLC

      2. 6.1.2 Bayer AG

      3. 6.1.3 Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH

      4. 6.1.4 Bristol-Myers Squibb Co

      5. 6.1.5 Cardinal Health Inc.

      6. 6.1.6 GlaxoSmithKline PLC

      7. 6.1.7 Insight Pharmaceuticals

      8. 6.1.8 Johnson & Johnson

      9. 6.1.9 Merck & Co.

      10. 6.1.10 List Not Exhaustive

    2. *List Not Exhaustive

**Competitive Landscape covers- Business Overview, Financials, Products and Strategies and Recent Developments

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