Spain Over-the-counter (OTC) Drugs Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The Spain Over-the-counter (OTC) Drugs Market is Segmented by Product (Cough, Cold, and Flu Products, Analgesics, Dermatology Products, Gastrointestinal Products, Vitamin, Mineral, and Supplement (VMS) Products, Weight-loss/Dietary Products, Ophthalmic Products, Sleeping Aids, and Other Product Types) and Distribution Channel (Retail Pharmacies, Online Pharmacies, and Other Distribution Channels). The report offers the value (in USD million) for the above segments.

Market Snapshot

Spain Over-the-counter Drugs Market Overview
Study Period: 2018-2026
Base Year: 2020
CAGR: 5.4 %

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Market Overview

The Spain over-the-counter (OTC) drugs market was valued at USD 3,750 million in 2020, and it is anticipated to reach USD 5,150 million in 2026, registering a CAGR of nearly 5.4% over the forecast period, 2021-2026.

During the COVID-19 situation, where the population is generally avoiding hospital and clinic visits unless necessary, the trend of self-medication has been observed to increase exponentially. Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are witnessing an unprecedented demand amid the COVID-19 crisis, owing to the restricted visits to hospitals and health professionals. For instance, in March 2020, Sandoz, one of the largest medicine providers, in Europe reported that it was increasing supplies of key antibiotics needed to respond to the COVID-19 crisis owing to the increased demand in the European countries.

The major factors propelling the growth of the Spain OTC drugs market include product innovation, growing distribution channels, an inclination of the pharmaceutical companies from Rx to OTC drugs, and increasing self-medication among the general population. The increasing healthcare costs demand better accessibility and affordability of healthcare services. Self-medication with non-prescription drugs has increased in the past years owing to its advantages, such as it helps improve the accessibility and cost benefits of healthcare services. Thus, there is an increase in the trend toward self-medication in European countries, including Spain.

According to the data published by the Association of the European Self-medication Industry, one out of two packages of medicines sold in Europe is a non-prescription medicinal product. Self-medication produces significant public health and economic benefits for societies by allowing citizens to address their conditions by themselves when medical advice is not necessary. It also reduces a significant burden from the healthcare systems, allowing health professionals to counsel patients in need of professional care. In a recent report published by Pfizer, it was found that every nine out of 10 consumers in European countries, including Spain, France, and Germany, are found considering self-care as a vital part of the management and prevention of both minor ailments and chronic conditions and diseases. Because of these multiple benefits, the increase in self-medication is expected to drive the growth of the Spain OTC drugs market.

Scope of the Report

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications do not need a doctor’s prescription. This convenience for consumers enables the direct purchase of medicines. The Spain over-the-counter (OTC) drugs market is segmented by product (cough, cold, and flu products, analgesics, dermatology products, gastrointestinal products, vitamin, mineral, and supplement (VMS) products, weight-loss/dietary products, ophthalmic products, sleeping aids, and other product types) and distribution channel (retail pharmacies, online pharmacies, and other distribution channels). The report offers the value (in USD million) for the above segments.

By Product
Cough, Cold, and Flu Products
Dermatology Products
Gastrointestinal Products
Vitamin, Mineral, and Supplement (VMS) Products
Weight-loss/Dietary Products
Ophthalmic Products
Sleeping Aids
Other Product Types
By Distribution Channel
Retail Pharmacies
Online Pharmacies
Other Distribution Channels

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Key Market Trends

The Cough, Cold, and Flu Products Segment is Expected to Dominate the Market over the Forecast Period

The growth of the 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 increasing prevalence of these common diseases such as 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. For these diseases, the patient generally prefers taking self-medication rather than going to the doctor to save both time and cost required to visit a physician/hospital. Consumers are dependent on OTC drugs for cough and cold medicines as the first response for quick relief from symptoms. Owing to their ease in procurement and surging market demand, the sale of OTC drugs for cough, cold, and flu is seen increasing in Spain.

Quick-relief tablets, including throat lozenges, provide quick relief from throat tickles and have the highest demand in the market, which contributes as one of the major growth factors for the segment. Aspirin is one of the most widely used drugs to provide quick relief from headaches, and it is the most commonly demanded OTC drug worldwide. Moreover, the improved quality and efficacy of OTC products for cough, cold, and flu are strongly driving the market.

Spain Over-the-counter Drugs Market Key Trends

Competitive Landscape

The Spain over-the-counter (OTC) drugs market is highly competitive. There are some major players that are holding the major share, along with some smaller companies holding a substantial share. However, with technological advancements and product innovations, mid-size to smaller companies are increasing their market presence by introducing new products with fewer prices.

Recent Developments

In January 2021, Pfizer Inc. invested a total of USD 120 million in four clinical-stage biotech companies as part of the Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative (PBGI).

In September 2020, Sanofi acquired Principia Biopharma Inc. for USD 100 per share in cash to further strengthen its core areas of autoimmune and allergic diseases.

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 Inclination of Pharmaceutical Companies to Switch From Rx to OTC Drugs

      2. 4.2.2 Increasing Self Medication Among the General Population

      3. 4.2.3 High Penetration in Emerging Markets

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints

      1. 4.3.1 Incorrect Self Diagnosis

      2. 4.3.2 Probability of Substance 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 Product

      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 Vitamin, Mineral, and Supplement (VMS) Products

      6. 5.1.6 Weight-loss/Dietary Products

      7. 5.1.7 Ophthalmic Products

      8. 5.1.8 Sleeping Aids

      9. 5.1.9 Other Product Types

    2. 5.2 By Distribution Channel

      1. 5.2.1 Retail Pharmacies

      2. 5.2.2 Online Pharmacies

      3. 5.2.3 Other Distribution Channels


    1. 6.1 Company Profiles

      1. 6.1.1 Astrazeneca PLC

      2. 6.1.2 Bayer

      3. 6.1.3 Bristol-Myers Squibb

      4. 6.1.4 Cardinal Health

      5. 6.1.5 GlaxoSmithKline PLC

      6. 6.1.6 Johnson and Johnson

      7. 6.1.7 Leo Pharma AS

      8. 6.1.8 Merck & Co.

      9. 6.1.9 Novartis AG

      10. 6.1.10 Pfizer Inc.

      11. 6.1.11 Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC

      12. 6.1.12 Sanofi SA

      13. 6.1.13 Takeda Pharamaceutical Company Ltd

    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 Spain Over-the-counter (OTC) Drugs Market market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The Spain Over-the-counter (OTC) Drugs Market is growing at a CAGR of 5.4% over the next 5 years.

The Spain Over-the-counter (OTC) Drugs Market is valued at 3750 Million USD in 2018.

The Spain Over-the-counter (OTC) Drugs Market is valued at 5150 Million USD in 2026.

Bayer, Sanofi SA, Pfizer Inc., GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC are the major companies operating in Spain Over-the-counter (OTC) Drugs Market.

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