The Global Over-the-Counter market has been posting steady growth at 2% per year and the trend will continue in the upcoming years driven largely by the emerging markets. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increasing switch from prescription to OTC drugs and the stronger focus on the consumer. In Europe, consumers continue to enjoy easier access to OTC medicines, and consumer appreciation of convenience is shown by relative growth of non-pharmacy channels.
Globally, Western Europe and the U.S. remain the largest OTC regions with more than 40% of the OTC sales, but the growth drivers are the developing markets of South East Asia, Latin America (LA) and Central & Eastern Europe (CEE). Powered by China and Russia – both among the Top 10 markets – and benefiting from a high wave of new innovation, expanding core business and the impact of price changes in CEE and LA markets, these emerging regions now represent more than 75% of global OTC growth.