The North American over the counter (OTC) drugs market was estimated at USD 69.59 billion in 2024. It is projected to grow and be worth USD 100.84 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 7.70% between 2024 and 2029.
Shifting the focus of pharmaceutical companies on OTC drugs over prescription drugs is fuelling the growth of the over-the-counter drugs market in North America. The growing preference of people to opt for over-the-counter drugs for minor injuries rather than seeking intensive treatment offered by healthcare professionals in the region, particularly in countries like the U.S, Canada, and Mexico, is leading to increased demand for OTC drugs, which is boosting the growth of the over-the-counter drugs market in North America. In addition, many mid-size and small players are emerging in the region and introducing novel medications with lower prices, boosting the over-the-counter drugs market in this area.
The rising prevalence of unhealthy lifestyles and bad food habits, as most people eat junk food, leads to ineffective responses for the already available drugs, which pushes the need for research and development activities, resulting in the launch of novel drugs at regular intervals into the market. This is cumulatively creating several growth opportunities for the emerging and key players functioning in the over-the-counter drugs market and is expected to continue the trend during the forecast period in North America. In addition, emerging economies of the countries like the U.S., Mexico, and Canada in North America and continually increasing demand for OTC drugs due to the large customer base are anticipated to provide lucrative opportunities for the market players in the region.
Stringent regulations and procedures to release novel and innovative drugs into the market are the significant factors limiting the growth of North American over-the-counter drugs market. In addition, the illegal usage of drugs is another major factor restricting the development of the North American OTC drug market.
This research report on the North American OTC Drugs Market has been segmented and sub-segmented into the following categories:
North America OTC Drugs Market - By Product Type:
North America OTC Drugs Market - By Formulation Type:
North America OTC Drugs Market - By Distribution Channels:
North America OTC Drugs Market - By Country:
The United States is the biggest market for OTC drugs in the North American region. The U.S. accounts for more than 80% of the market in this region. Although the market share is high in the North American area, it is forecasted to witness market saturation due to the domination of generic medicine prescriptions. The North American OTC drugs market is predicted to hold a significant global market share during the forecast period. The main factors driving the market growth are people's worsening food and health habits that weaken people's immune systems and make them susceptible to infections like the flu. Also, the shifting focus of pharmaceutical companies from prescription drugs to OTC drugs and the increased research and development activities in recent years. Moreover, favorable government policies for the approval of drugs and increasing healthcare spending are further fuelling market growth.
The U.S. over-the-counter drugs market is expected to retain most of the market share in the North American market during the forecast period. However, the country's increased research and development activities are expected to grow at a moderate pace in the coming years. Also, the increasing problem of obesity and the weakened immune system is a potential factor for the U.S. market growth.
On the other hand, The Canadian over-the-counter drugs market is also expected to record an exponential growth rate during the forecast period. The market growth is fuelled by the shifting focus of pharmaceutical companies from prescription drugs to OTC drugs, and research and development activities are the reason for the increase. In addition, if the challenge of the illegal use of drugs is tackled, the market will grow at a higher rate in the coming years.
KEY MARKET PLAYERS:
GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson and Johnson, Novartis, Bayer, Pfizer, Sanofi, and Takeda, and companies that play a dominant role in the North American Over Counter (OTC) Drugs Market. GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson and Johnson, Novartis, and Sanofi possess the maximum market share.
The United States holds the largest market share in North America, followed by Canada and Mexico.
The market has witnessed a surge in demand for OTC drugs during the pandemic, driven by the need for at-home treatments and preventive healthcare measures.
The aging population, coupled with a preference for self-care among millennials, is influencing the consumption patterns of OTC drugs in North America.
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