Over the Counter (OTC) Analgesics Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The Over the Counter (OTC) Analgesics Market is Segmented by Type of Drug (Acetaminophen, Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAIDs), Salicylates, and Other Analgesics​), Distribution Channel, and Geography.

Market Snapshot

otc analgesics market
Study Period:

2018 - 2026

Base Year:


Fastest Growing Market:


Largest Market:

North America


4.5 %

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Market Overview

The major factors boosting the growth of the market studied include the increasing demand in topical analgesics, growth in the geriatric population resulting in the rising prevalence of various diseases, and the cost-efficiency of OTC analgesics drugs.

  • According to the estimates by the American Academy of Pain Medicine, over 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, every year.
  • With the growing aging population, the demand for pain relief solutions is increasing, as aged people are more prone to chronic pain.
  • According to the United Nations' report in 2017, there were an estimated 962 million people aged 60 years or over in the world, comprising 13% of the global population. The population aged 60 years or above is growing at a rate of about 3% per year. It was estimated that Europe had the highest percentage of the population aged 60 years or over, as per 2017.
  • Rapid aging is expected in other parts of the world. Owing to this, all regions of the world, except Africa, are expected to have nearly a quarter or more of their populations aged at 60 years and above, by 2050.
  • According to the estimates of the United Nations’ report in 2017, the total number of aged population in the world was projected to reach 1.4 billion in 2030 and 2.1 billion in 2050, approximately, and it is likely to rise to 3.1 billion in 2100. Thus, the growth in the geriatric population is driving the growth of the global OTC analgesics market.

Scope of the Report

As per the scope of this report, over-the-counter (OTC) analgesics are referred to as non-prescription analgesic drugs. These medicines can be bought by individuals without a doctor’s prescription, and they are safe for consumption. The market is segmented by type of drug, distribution channel, and geography.

By Type of Drug
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Other Analgesics​
By Distribution Channel
Hospital Pharmacies
Retail Pharmacies
Online Pharmacies
Others Distribution Channels
By Geography
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
South Korea
Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle-East and Africa
South Africa
Rest of Middle-East and Africa
South America
Rest of South America

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Key Market Trends

Retail Pharmacies Segment by Distribution Channel is Expected to Dominate the Market

OTC medicines are conveniently sold in several retail outlets, including those without pharmacies, and they are easily available. In the United States, there are more than 750,000 retail establishments nationwide, and both rural and urban consumers have 24/7 access to treatments for common, everyday conditions. Furthermore, most of the patients are preferring self medications without consulting a doctor or a pharmacist. However, the hospital pharmacies segment is expected to maintain a relatively low growth rate in terms of revenue generated through distribution of OTC drugs, as mostly the sale of OTCs takes place in case of non-prescribed drugs, and it is relatively easy for most consumers to acquire these drugs either from retail pharmacies or online pharmacies. Thus, owing to the rising geriatric population, affordability, and high accessibility of OTC analgesics, the market is expected to witness rapid growth over the forecast period.

Over the Counter (OTC) Analgesics Market_toc 3.png

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North America is Expected to Dominate the Market

According to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, 2019, it was estimated that about 93% of the Americans prefer to treat their minor ailments with OTC medicines before seeking professional care. Chronic pain has been linked to several physical and mental conditions, and contributes to high healthcare costs and lost productivity. In 2016, approximately 20.4% of adults in the United States had chronic pain, and 8.0% had high-impact chronic pain. Both kinds of pain were more widespread among adults living in poverty, adults with less than high school education, and adults with public health insurance. For the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders, many patients in the United States generally use non-prescription topical analgesics. Hence, with the increase in the prevalence of chronic pain, the demand for OTC analgesics is expected to increase, which is likely to drive the market over the forecast period.


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Competitive Landscape

The market studied is fragmented in nature, owing to the presence of many small and large market players. Some of the major players are Bayer AG, Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Pfizer Inc., Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, Sanofi SA, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited.

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 Demand in Topical Analgesics

      2. 4.2.2 Growth in the Geriatric Population Resulting in the Rising Prevalence of Various Diseases

      3. 4.2.3 Cost Efficiency of OTC Analgesics Drugs

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints

      1. 4.3.1 Drug Tolerance, Dependence, and Addiction and Abuse​

    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


    1. 5.1 By Type of Drug

      1. 5.1.1 Acetaminophen

      2. 5.1.2 Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

      3. 5.1.3 Salicylates

      4. 5.1.4 Other Analgesics​

    2. 5.2 By Distribution Channel

      1. 5.2.1 Hospital Pharmacies

      2. 5.2.2 Retail Pharmacies

      3. 5.2.3 Online Pharmacies

      4. 5.2.4 Others Distribution Channels

    3. 5.3 By Geography

      1. 5.3.1 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Mexico

      2. 5.3.2 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. United Kingdom

        3. France

        4. Italy

        5. Spain

        6. Rest of Europe

      3. 5.3.3 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. Japan

        3. India

        4. Australia

        5. South Korea

        6. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.3.4 Middle-East and Africa

        1. GCC

        2. South Africa

        3. Rest of Middle-East and Africa

      5. 5.3.5 South America

        1. Brazil

        2. Argentina

        3. Rest of South America


    1. 6.1 Company Profiles

      1. 6.1.1 Bayer AG

      2. 6.1.2 Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH

      3. 6.1.3 Johnson & Johnson

      4. 6.1.4 GlaxoSmithKline PLC

      5. 6.1.5 Pfizer Inc.

      6. 6.1.6 Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC

      7. 6.1.7 Sanofi SA

      8. 6.1.8 Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd

      9. 6.1.9 Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

    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 Over the Counter (OTC) Analgesics Market market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The Over the Counter (OTC) Analgesics Market is growing at a CAGR of 4.5% over the next 5 years.

Europe is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

North America holds highest share in 2020.

  • Bayer AG
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • GlaxoSmithKline PLC
  • Pfizer Inc.
  • Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC

Are the major companies operating in Over the Counter (OTC) Analgesics Market.

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