Over the Counter (OTC) Analgesics Market to Reach US$ 39.74 Billion by 2030, Says Coherent Market Insights


Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers are medications that are available without a prescription and can be used to alleviate pain or reduce fever.

Burlingame, June 23, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — According to Coherent Market Insights, global over the counter (OTC) analgesics market is estimated to be valued at US$ 28.55 billion in 2023 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period (2023-2030).

Analysts’ Views on Global Over the Counter (OTC) Analgesics Market


Analgesics are medications that relieve pain. Unlike medicines used for anesthesia during surgery, analgesics don’t turn off nerves, change the ability to sense surroundings or alter consciousness. They are also known as pain relievers or painkillers. There are two main types of over the counter analgesics, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are examples of NSAIDs. Aspirin, ibuprofen, & acetaminophen are among the most frequently used OTC analgesics, used by around 17% to 23% of the population each week. When taken as recommended, these OTC analgesics present relatively safe, effective, and economical treatments for mild to moderate pain, inflammation, and fever.

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Key Trends and Analysis of the Global Over the Counter (OTC) Analgesics Market:

High demand for OTC drugs or rise in preference for OTC drugs is one of the key trends expected to propel the growth of the global over the counter (OTC) analgesics market. OTC drugs are more affordable as compared to prescription drugs, often cost less than prescription-only product and do not require a visit to the clinic. Moreover, OTC medicines enable people to relieve many troubling symptoms and cure some ailments easily and without seeing a doctor. Prescription medicines are increasingly being switched to OTC status in the developed world, with the support of government policy. This trend is expected to continue during the forecast period.

Global Over the Counter (OTC) Analgesics Market – Drivers

Increasing demand for OTC analgesics to drive market growth

Analgesics help relieve different types of pain, from headaches to injuries to arthritis. For instance, anti-inflammatory analgesics reduce inflammation, and opioid analgesics change the way the brain perceives pain. OTC analgesics are relatively safe, effective, and economical treatments for mild to moderate pain and inflammation. In August 2021, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. announced the re-launch of OTC Naproxen Sodium Tablets USP, 220 mg, the store-brand equivalent of Aleve, in the U.S., as approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is an important addition to our Pain/Analgesics portfolio of OTC products.

Over the Counter (OTC) Analgesics Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022   Market Size in 2023: US$ 28.55 Bn
Historical Data for: 2017 to 2021 Forecast Period: 2023 to 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 4.8%   2030 Value Projection: US$ 39.74 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East and Africa: GCC Countries, Israel, Rest of Middle East, South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa
Segments covered:
  • By Type of Drug: Acetaminophen, Nonsteroidal Anti- inflammatory Drug (NSAIDs), Salicylates, and Other Analgesics
  • By Distribution Channel: Hospital Pharmacies, Retail Pharmacies, Online Pharmacies, and Others Distribution Channels
Companies covered: Sanofi SA, Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, Pfizer Inc., Mylan NV, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Johnson & Johnson, Bayer, Takeda Pharmaceutical, and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., among others.
Growth Drivers:
  • Rise in prevalence chronic diseases
  • Rise in geriatric (aging) population 
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Drug tolerance, dependence, and addiction and abuse
  • Shortage of narcotics analgesic drugs

High demand for topical analgesics to propel market growth

Topical analgesics are applied on the skin to relieve muscle, joint, or nerve pain. They get absorbed by the skin and act on the tissue beneath. There are many types of topical analgesic drugs and each works in a unique way to relieve pain. In February 2022, NEXGEL, Inc. a provider of ultra-gentle, high-water-content hydrogel products, launched MEDAGEL Bug Bite Relief Patch. These patches are skin-friendly and infused with skin-calming Arnica flower and pain-reducing Lidocaine to help reduce discomfort. These cooling patches, made using NEXGEL’s soothing hydrogel technology, provide instant relief to irritated skin caused by insect bites.

Global Over the Counter (OTC) Analgesics Market – Restrain

Rise in addiction and abuse to hamper the market growth

One of the key factors expected to hamper growth of the global over the counter (OTC) analgesics market is the drug tolerance, dependence, and addiction and abuse. OTC drug carries risks but the tolerance and dependence that can develop with OTC painkillers, which have the potential to be highly addictive, may lead to misuse and even death. The misuse of analgesics is a serious national crisis that affects public health, as well as social and economic welfare. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), each day, more than 115 people in the United States die due to overdosing on over the counter (OTC) analgesics.

Global Over the Counter (OTC) Analgesics Market – Opportunities

Growing geriatric population and the outbreak of COVID-19 is expected to offer significant growth opportunities for players in the global over the counter (OTC) analgesics market.

As geriatric population is more susceptible to the infection due to weakened immune systems and the lack of a potential vaccine or treatment, the number of older adults suffering from COVID-19 is high. In 2020, the European Medicine Agency (EMA) has recommended using NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories), like paracetamol and ibuprofen, to treat mild symptoms of COVID-19 in the lowest dose form. Moreover, rapid growth of geriatric population leads to many old age problems for which patients avoid going to hospitals and prefer to receive drugs and treatments at home, which in turn increase the adoption of analgesics.

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Global Over the Counter (OTC) Analgesics Market – Key Developments

In December 2021, Heron Therapeutics, Inc. announced that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved its supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for ZYNRELEF (bupivacaine and meloxicam) extended-release solution to significantly expand the indication.

In March 2021, Hisamitsu America announced the availability of the Salonpas Arthritis Pain Relief Gel, which features the most prescribed topical pain medicine clinically proven to relieve arthritis pain in major joints. That medicine is prescription-strength diclofenac, which was approved by the FDA for over-the-counter (OTC) use in 2020.

Key Market Takeaways:

Global over the counter (OTC) analgesics market is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period. The over the counter (OTC) analgesics market is growing rapidly in response to the rising prevalence of various disease and growing geriatric population across the globe (this in turn increase the demand for OTC analgesics).

On the basis of Type of Drug, Acetaminophen Segment is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period and this is attributed to the rise in consumption of acetaminophen. Acetaminophen (paracetamol) is the most commonly used analgesic and antipyretic across the globe. It is recommended by WHO, as the first line of therapy for the treatment of pain.

On the basis of Distribution Channel, Hospital Pharmacies Segment is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period and this is attributed to the increase in availability of OTC analgesics, as OTC analgesics are very common in the hospital pharmacies.

On the basis of Geography, North America is expected to hold a dominant position over the forecast period, due to increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, growing geriatric population, and rise in demand for OTC analgesics in the region.

Competitive Landscape:

Key players operating in the global over the counter (OTC) analgesics market are Sanofi SA, Pfizer Inc., Mylan NV, Bayer AG, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Takeda Pharmaceutical, Johnson & Johnson, Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

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Detailed Segmentation:

Global Over the Counter (OTC) Analgesics Market, By Type of Drug:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Nonsteroidal Anti- inflammatory Drug (NSAIDs)
  • Salicylates
  • Other Analgesics

Global Over the Counter (OTC) Analgesics Market, By Distribution Channel:

  • Hospital Pharmacies
  • Retail Pharmacies
  • Online Pharmacies
  • Others Distribution Channels

Global Over the Counter (OTC) Analgesics Market, By Region

  • North America
    • By Country:
      • U.S.
      • Canada
  • Latin America
    • By Country:
      • Brazil
      • Mexico
      • Argentina
      • Rest of Latin America
  • Europe
    • By Country:
      • Germany
      • U.K.
      • France
      • Italy
      • Spain
      • Russia
      • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • By Country
      • China
      • India
      • Japan
      • Australia
      • South Korea
      • ASEAN
      • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East
    • By Country:
      • GCC Countries
      • Israel
      • Rest of Middle East
  • Africa
    • By Country/Region:
      • South Africa
      • Central Africa
      • North Africa

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Coherent Market Insights is a global market intelligence and consulting organization focused on assisting our plethora of clients achieve transformational growth by helping them make critical business decisions. We are headquartered in India, having sales office at global financial capital in the U.S. and sales consultants in United Kingdom and Japan. Our client base includes players from across various business verticals in over 57 countries worldwide. We create value for clients through our highly reliable and accurate reports. We are also committed in playing a leading role in offering insights in various sectors post-COVID-19 and continue to deliver measurable, sustainable results for our clients.

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