Italy OTC Drugs Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The Italy OTC Drugs Market is Segmented by Product Type (Cough, Cold, and Flu Products, Analgesics, Dermatology Products, Gastrointestinal Products, and Other Product Types), Route of Administration (Oral, Topical, and Parenteral), and Distribution Channel (Retail Pharmacy, Hospital Pharmacy, and E-Pharmacy). The report offers the value (in USD million) for the above segments.

Market Snapshot

Italy OTC Drugs Market Size
Study Period: 2019-2027
Base Year: 2021
CAGR: 6.8 %

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Market Overview

The Italy OTC Drugs Market is projected to register a CAGR of 6.8% during the forecast period (2022-2027).

The Italian healthcare industry was one of the severely impacted countries by the COVID-19 outbreak in the world as the country was already facing weak economic conditions and a cut to public health services due to budgetary requirements in the last decade. Due to this emergency, the price was paid by the healthcare professionals. According to a study “Impact of COVID-19 outbreak on Italian healthcare workers versus general population: Results from an online survey” published in Open Access general in July 2021, it was found that healthcare workers were severely affected by the pandemic as compared to the general population. ​ The healthcare workers and doctors in the country were taking different measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus. However, with product launches, the market started growing. For instance, in June 2020, the Hero Group and Angelini Holding entered a joint venture (JV) to enter the Italian baby and toddler food market with a 100% organic portfolio. The products are sold in different channels – baby specialist stores, pharmacies, selected grocery retailers and drugstores throughout Italy, and eCommerce. Hence, in the upcoming period, the market is likely to grow in the future.

In 2022, Italy spent around USD 35.6 billion on healthcare, according to data from the Information Resources, Incorporated (IRI) in 2022. This is expected to boost market growth since the investment can be done to aid the development of over-the-counter drugs in Italian pharmaceutical companies leading to greater scope for market growth. The launch of healthcare and consumer products in the country is another factor in the growth of the market. The common conditions, like flu, pain, and others, have been reported to be increasing in the country, which contributes to self-medication and OTC sales. For instance, according to the recent report in InfluNet, in 2020, almost three million cases of flu have been reported in Italy since the start of the winter season, and the number of confirmed cases is rising.

According to a study published by the Journal of Anesthesia, Intensive Care, Emergency and Pain Medicine in March 2021 titled 'Chronic Non-Cancer Pain in Primary Care: an Italian Cross-Sectional Study', chronic non-cancer pain is a complex health condition that affects more than a quarter of the Italian population who mainly refers to general practitioners and primary care for their treatment.

Furthermore, the presence of well-established market players in the country with major OTC brands, such as Tachipirina (pain and fever), Rinazina (Rhinitis), and others, are expected to further fuel the market growth in the country. Hence, owing to the rising burden of diseases coupled with the favorable regulations and new product launches is expected to boost the market growth in Italy during the forecast period.

However, the high probability of OTC drug abuse and lack of awareness is likely to hinder the market growth.

Scope of the Report

As per the scope, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are referred to as nonprescription drugs. These medicines can be bought by individuals without a doctor's prescription and are safe for consumption without a doctor's consent. The Italy OTC Drugs Market is Segmented by Product Type (Cough, Cold, and Flu Products, Analgesics, Dermatology Products, Gastrointestinal Products, and Other Product Types), Route of Administration (Oral, Topical, and Parenteral), and Distribution Channel (Retail Pharmacy, Hospital Pharmacy, and E-Pharmacy). The report offers the value (in USD million) for the above segments.

By Product Type
Cough, Cold, and Flu Products
Dermatology Products
Gastrointestinal Products
Other Product Types
By Route of Administration
By Distribution Channel
Retail Pharmacy
Hospital Pharmacy

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Key Market Trends

Cough, Cold, and Flu Products are Expected to Hold a Significant Market Share Over the Forecast Period

Factors such as the increasing geriatric population, increasing cough and flu cases, and product launches by key market players are expected to increase the segmental growth in the country in the upcoming period. According to the World Population Aging 2022 report, published by the United Nations, in 2022, In 2021, 23.4 percent of the total population in Italy was 65 years and older. According to data, the share of elderly people in Italian society has been growing constantly in recent years. Consequently, the share of the young population experienced a decrease in the last years. As a result, the average age of Italians has risen. The massive increase in the geriatric population is expected to increase the prevalence of diseases as the older population is prone to diseases due to weak immune systems. This is expected to boost the market growth in the country. 

Moreover, increasing flu cases are another factor in the growth of the segment. For instance, in March 2022, an article published titled "The Burden of Seasonal Influenza in Italy: A Systematic Review of Influenza-Related Complications, Hospitalizations, and Mortality" stated that Hospitalization due to influenza can occur in as much as 5% of infected people depending on the study setting. Excess death rates were over sixfold higher in the elderly as compared with the rest of the population. 

Product launches are another factor in the growth of the market. For instance, in October 2020, GSK Consumer Healthcare launched Robitussin Naturals, the brand's first-ever line of drug-free products that provide relief from occasional cough. Hence, the above factors and research studies are further expected to improve the market growth in this segment.


Competitive Landscape

The United Kingdom OTC drugs market is fragmented and consists of several major players. In terms of market share, a few of the major players are currently dominating the market. Some of the companies which are currently dominating the market are Pfizer Inc, Bayer plc, Perrigo Company plc, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, and Johnson & Johnson, among others.

Recent Development

  • In December 2021, Adare Pharma Solutions, a technology-driven contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), acquired Frontida BioPharm, a vertically integrated CDMO focused on oral formulations. The acquisition reinforces Adare’s commitment to transforming drug delivery by providing world-class solutions from product development through commercial-scale manufacturing and packaging. 
  • In May 2021, Futura Medical’s MED3000 topical gel for erectile dysfunction has now been certified as a Class IIb medical device in the European Union. MED3000 was the “first clinically proven, pan-European topical OTC treatment for adult men with erectile dysfunction”.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Market Drivers

      1. 4.2.1 Increasing Self-medication

      2. 4.2.2 Increasing Number of Product Launches

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints

      1. 4.3.1 High Probability of OTC Drug Abuse and Lack of Awareness

    4. 4.4 Porter's Five Forces 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

  5. 5. MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size by Value – USD million)

    1. 5.1 By Product Type

      1. 5.1.1 Cough, Cold, and Flu Products

      2. 5.1.2 Analgesics

      3. 5.1.3 Dermatology Products

      4. 5.1.4 Gastrointestinal Products

      5. 5.1.5 Other Product Types

    2. 5.2 By Route of Administration

      1. 5.2.1 Oral

      2. 5.2.2 Topical

      3. 5.2.3 Parenteral

    3. 5.3 By Distribution Channel

      1. 5.3.1 Retail Pharmacy

      2. 5.3.2 Hospital Pharmacy

      3. 5.3.3 E-Pharmacy


    1. 6.1 Company Profiles

      1. 6.1.1 Bayer plc

      2. 6.1.2 GlaxoSmithKline PLC

      3. 6.1.3 Johnson & Johnson

      4. 6.1.4 Perrigo Company plc

      5. 6.1.5 Pfizer Inc

      6. 6.1.6 Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC

      7. 6.1.7 Sanofi

    2. *List Not Exhaustive

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

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Italy OTC Drugs Market market is studied from 2019 - 2027.

The Italy OTC Drugs Market is growing at a CAGR of 6.8% over the next 5 years.

Pfizer Inc, Bayer plc, Perrigo Company plc, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Johnson & Johnson are the major companies operating in Italy OTC Drugs Market.

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