Middle East and Africa Over the Counter Drugs Market Research Report - Segmented By Product Type, Formulation Type, Distribution Channels & Country (KSA, UAE, Israel, rest of GCC countries, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Egypt, Sudan, rest of MEA) - Analysis on Market Size, Share, Trends, COVID-19 Impact & Growth Forecast (2024 to 2029)

Updated On: January, 2024
ID: 466
Pages: 135

Middle East & Africa Over the Counter Drugs Market Size (2024 to 2029)

The size of the over the counter (OTC) drugs market in the Middle East and Africa was valued at USD 5.99 Billion in 2023. The MEA market is expected to be worth USD 8.93 billion by 2029 from USD 6.4 billion in 2024, growing at a CAGR of 6.88% from 2024 to 2029.

The growth of the Middle East and Africa over the counter (OTC) drugs market is primarily attributed to product innovation, high penetration in emerging markets, a favorable regulatory framework, and the trend for pharmaceutical companies to move from prescription to OTC. Over the next few years, the MEA over the counter (OTC) drugs market is likely to record the highest growth rates in emerging markets like South Africa, Kuwait, Iran, etc. This, coupled with the growth of the middle class and the increase in the disposable income of the population in these regions, is supposed to increase the availability of OTC drugs. In the sales channels, supermarkets contribute to over-the-counter market growth as new channels for emerging markets enter the barrier-free market.

With the advances in technology and product innovation, SMEs are increasing their market presence by introducing new products at lower prices. Strong growth is anticipated from the growth of the healthcare industry and increased government investment in its development. OTC drug markets in countries such as UAE, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa are expected to grow at a high rate during the forecast period due to increasing awareness of over-the-counter drugs for treating minor health problems. Other factors driving the Middle East and Africa OTC drugs market are cultural perception changes, including self-medication for mild health problems, the convenience of direct purchase, affordable drugs, high adoption, and acceptance. The use of belts will include future savings as well as drug innovation and development.

The MEA market for over-the-counter drugs is very competitive and includes several key players. The intense market competition, coupled with the side effects associated with a few pills, can hamper the rapid expansion of this regional market.

This research report on the Middle East and Africa Over the Counter Drugs Market has been segmented and sub-segmented into the following categories.

Middle East & Africa Over the Counter Drugs Market - By Product Type: 

  • Analgesics
  • Cough, Cold, and Flu Products
  • Vitamins and Minerals
  • Dermatological Products
  • Gastrointestinal Products
  • Ophthalmic Products
  • Sleep Aid Products
  • Weight Loss/Diet Products
  • Others

Middle East & Africa Over the Counter Drugs Market - By Formulation Type:

  • Tablets
  • Liquids
  • Ointments
  • Spray                             

Middle East & Africa Over the Counter Drugs Market - By Distribution Channels: 

  • Pharmacies
  • Supermarkets/Hypermarkets
  • Convenience store
  • Others (online drug store)                             

Middle East & Africa Over the Counter Drugs Market - By Country: 

  • KSA
  • UAE
  • Israel
  • Rest Of GCC Countries
  • South Africa
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Egypt
  • Sudan
  • Rest Of MEA

The over-the-counter drugs market in the Middle East and Africa is likely to record a considerable growth rate in the coming years. The growth of the middle class, increase in disposable income, rapid population growth, and the increasing availability of OTC drugs are factors driving the demand in the local market. Accessibility of supermarkets and emerging retail channels are also contributing to the growth of the OTC drugs market in the MEA. The major contributors to the OTC drugs business in the area are the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, South Africa, and others. Increasing consumer awareness will play a vital role in business expansion in the outlook period.

Africa is a newly emerging market in OTC drugs, as most African nations are underdeveloped. Amongst the developing countries, South Africa is said to be the leading contributor to the African market. The major problem prevailing in the African market is drug substance abuse. Codeine used in Broncleer cough syrup is banned in South Africa, as it is considered the most abused OTC drug.


A few of the notable companies leading in the Middle East and Africa over-the-counter Drugs Market profiled in the report are GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson and Johnson, Novartis, Bayer, Pfizer, Sanofi, and Takeda.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which countries contribute the most to the over-the-counter drugs market in the Middle East?

Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt are the key contributors to the over-the-counter drugs market in the Middle East.

What factors are driving the growth of the over-the-counter drugs market in Africa?

Increasing awareness of self-medication, rising healthcare expenditure, and expanding access to healthcare services are driving the growth in Africa.

What are the prominent trends shaping the over-the-counter drugs market in North Africa?

Growing demand for herbal and natural remedies, coupled with a surge in online retailing, is a notable trend in North Africa.

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