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Europe Over-the-counter (OTC) Drugs Market Report 2022: Increasing Self-medication Practices Driving 5.4% Annual Growth -

The "Europe Over-the-counter (OTC) Drugs Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)" report has been added to's offering.

The European over-the-counter (OTC) drugs market was valued at USD 35,258 million in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 48,377 million in 2027, registering a CAGR of 5.4% during the forecast period (2022-2027).

During the COVID-19 pandemic, over-the-counter (OTC) medicines witnessed unprecedented demand, owing to the restricted visits to hospitals and health professionals. The absence of medical assistance for general physical disorders paved the way for pain killers as a temporary solution.

The demand from community doctors and physicians for OTC medicines also rose as they experienced a greater influx of patients. The purchase of dietary supplements and vitamins also significantly increased, as people bought these products to increase their immunity and combat the spread of COVID-19.

An article titled "Dietary Supplements and Nutraceuticals Market Growth During the Coronavirus Pandemic - Implications for Consumers and Regulatory Oversight" and published in the journal of Pharmanutrition in December 2021 indicated that the sales of vitamins in the United Kingdom increased by 63% in March 2020 compared to the same period in the previous year.

The growth of online pharmacies and the expected launch of online pharmacy services by e-commerce giants, such as Amazon, are expected to drive the market growth. The other factors driving the market growth include increasing self-medication practices and new product launches.

Key Market Trends

Cough, Cold, and Flu Products Expected to Register High Growth

The cough, cold, and flu products segment holds the largest share of the European OTC drugs market, and it is growing at the fastest rate. The increasing volume of OTC drugs in the cough/cold/flu category is driven by the rise in the number of individuals affected by these conditions.

The COVID-19 pandemic also created a huge demand for OTC drugs to treat common symptoms related to the virus. Though it was found that none of the OTC drugs may treat the viral infection, they do provide relief from the common symptoms of the infection, i.e., cold, cough, and flu. The market players have also frequently launched new products to gain a competitive edge.

The growing prevalence of cough, cold, and flu, especially among the aging population, has led them to use OTC drugs. Since these drugs are readily available and can be bought without a doctor's prescription, the consumers save both the time and money required to visit the physician/hospital. Consumers are dependent on OTC cough and cold medicines as a first response to seek fast relief from their symptoms.

The National Health Services, in its article on common cold (updated in May 2022), indicated that several medications were available over the counter to treat the symptoms of cold. The article listed several medications, such as painkillers, decongestants, and cold medicines, as well as other remedies, including gargling and menthol sweets, vapor rubs, nasal saline drops, and vitamin and mineral supplements. Thus, the market for OTC drugs is projected to grow.

Market Dynamics

Market Drivers

  • Increasing Self-medication Practices
  • Increasing New Product Launches

Market Restraints

  • High Probability of OTC Drug Abuse
  • Lack of Awareness

Key Topics Covered:





5 MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size by Value - in USD Millions)



Companies Mentioned

  • Bayer AG
  • Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH
  • Bristol Myers Squibb Company
  • Cardinal Health Inc.
  • GlaxoSmithKline PLC
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Merck & Co Inc.
  • Sanofi SA
  • Vitaris (Mylan NV)
  • Pfizer Inc.
  • Novartis AG
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Perrigo Company plc

For more information about this report visit


Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager

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