Over the Counter (OTC) Analgesics Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2019 - 2024)

The Over the Counter (OTC) Analgesics Market is Segmented by Type of Drug, Distribution Channel, and Geography.

Market Snapshot

Over the Counter
Study Period:


Base Year:


Fastest Growing Market:


Largest Market:

North America



Key Players:

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Market Overview

The over the counter (OTC) analgesics market is expected to register a CAGR of nearly 7.2% during the forecast period, 2019-2024. The major factors boosting the growth of the market studied include the increasing demand in topical analgesics, growth in the geriatric population resulting into rising in the prevalence of various diseases, and cost efficiency of otc analgesics drugs.

  • According to the estimates by the American Academy of Pain Medicine, over 100 million American people were affected by chronic pain.
  • 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 or over in the world, comprising 13% of the global population. The population aged 60 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 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, is expected to have nearly a quarter or more of their populations aged at 60 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 is likely to rise to 3.1 billion in 2100. The number of aged people who are 80 or over is projected to triple by 2050, from 137 million in 2017 to 425 million in 2050, across the world. By 2100, it is expected to increase to 909 million, which is nearly seven times its value in 2017, as per the United Nations report, which is likely to increase the usage of OTC analgesics. 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 drug. These medicines can be bought by individuals without a doctor’s prescription and are safe for consumption without the doctor’s consent. The market is segmented by type of drug, distribution channel, and geography.

By Type of Drug
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAIDs)
Topical Analgesics
By Distribution Channel
Hospital Pharmacies
Retail Pharmacies
Online Pharmacies
Others Distribution Channels
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
South Korea
Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East & Africa
South Africa
Rest of Middle East & 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 are available when consumers need them. In the United States, there are more than 750,000 retail establishments nationwide, both rural and urban consumers have access 24/7 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 over the counter (OTC) drugs, as mostly the sales of OTCs take 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 affordability and high accessibility of the OTC analgesics in the retail stores the market is expected to witness a high CAGR over the forecast period.

Over the Counter

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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 the 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 nonprescription topical analgesics. Counterirritants are approved by the FDA for the topical treatment of minor pains and muscle and joint aches and are often used for the treatment of acute musculoskeletal injuries, such as simple backache, arthritis pain, strains, bruises, and sprains. According to a report, 2018, “The value of self-medication: summary of existing evidence”, it was estimated that the availability of OTC medicine resulted in annual savings of USD 102 billion relative to alternatives. 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.

Over the Counter

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Competitive Landscape

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

Major Players

  1. Bayer AG
  2. Johnson & Johnson
  3. GlaxoSmithKline PLC
  4. Pfizer Inc.
  5. Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC

* Complete list of players covered available in the table of contents below

Over the Counter

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 Demand in Topical Analgesics

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

      3. 4.2.3 Cost Efficiency of OTC Analgesics Drugs

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints

      1. 4.3.1 Drug Abuse

      2. 4.3.2 Harmful Side Effects from Continuous Use of OTC Analgesic

    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 Type of Drug

      1. 5.1.1 Acetaminophen

      2. 5.1.2 Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAIDs)

      3. 5.1.3 Salicylates

      4. 5.1.4 Topical 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 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 & Africa

        1. GCC

        2. South Africa

        3. Rest of Middle East & 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

      8. 6.1.8 Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd

      9. 6.1.9 Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

    2. *List Not Exhaustive

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

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