We all have had that one incident when a pill from a nearby pharmacy gave us more relief than the list of medicines prescribed by the doctor. All thanks to the Over-the-Counter drugs, millions of people worldwide have solved their minor ailments without having to see a doctor. If these OTC drugs weren’t available, everyone with medical problems ranging from minor to severe. Then everyone would rush to the clinics and hospitals, where no one would get adequate treatment.
OTC drugs are widely sold and used because they have struck the right balance between being approved by the government and being available to people. Most OTC drugs can be brought at a nearby pharmacy or medical store by presenting a simple prescription for the drug. In today’s fast-paced world, people don’t have the time to visit a doctor or go to a hospital if they get a minor health problem. The best solution to this problem is the well within reach, the nearby pharmacy. The process is convenient and hassle-free, just the way you’d like it. OTC drugs also have a unique advantage of being inexpensive and affordable. Though the purchasing power of people has gone up drastically, people’s mindset on expenditure is the same. So, instead of spending hundreds on the doctor’s appointment, they just go directly to the pharmacist and get the medicines in less than half of that amount.
A new revolution of self-awareness and care has begun among people today. Everyone wants be more independent and not rely on someone else. That is one of the reasons why self-medication is also growing. People, thanks to the power information media and the Internet, have started knowing their body and understanding their ailments in a better way. They have gained the confidence to educate and medicate themselves without relying on the money-hungry doctors and hospitals.
Major Pharmaceutical players like GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson and Johnson, Novartis, Bayer, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi, Takeda are trying their level best to produce better, more effective and easily approvable drugs to get a share of this market. Pharmacy Companies have identified this changing behavior in the customers and are taking steps to hire educated and knowledgeable employees in their pharmacies, to help people with the dosage and usage instructions.
Like all other markets, even the rapid growth of the OTC Drugs market is hindered by a few factors. Increasing awareness often leads to half-knowledge and so people end up purchasing the wrong medication or taking higher dosage, leading to an array of problems. OTC drug Abuse by Adolescents and Adults is another factor that haunts the growth of this market. A simple google search would present you with enough information on drugs which have intoxicating contents or drugs that give a ‘high’. A recent study concluded that 1 in every 8 adolescents (almost 15%) is a victim to cough syrup abuse, which is an OTC drug containing Dextromethorphan (DXM). Governments and Companies are taking strict and serious measures to make all the drugs are safe and don’t cause other side effects.
As of 2016, The OTC drugs market was estimated at USD 131.70 billion and according to Market Data Forecast, it will grow to USD 188.19 billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 7.24%. Major players are striving to make better, easy to use drugs that do not harm the user. Sun Pharma, an Indian multinational company used natural Ayurvedic ingredients in their drugs that give instant relief and have no side effects or problems. North America and Europe dominate this market which Asia-Pacific and Latin America are catching up quickly.
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