GBI Research, a leading provider of business intelligence, reports that one of the main drivers of growth within the Over-the-Counter (OTC) drugs market is increasing pressures from customers, drug manufacturers and regulators to convert prescription drugs to OTC non-prescription status.
According to the company, demand for OTC medications is increasing as patients are taking a more proactive approach to treating ailments.
‘Cost-conscious insurance programs will drive the trend of using Over-the-Counter drugs further by providing dramatically increased incentives for the use of newly-approved OTC drugs.’
According to Ladda, an analyst at GBI Research, the benefits of using OTC over prescription drugs include easy accessibility, lower costs, and customer-empowering qualities. For this reason, OTC drugs are ubiquitous and lucrative products.
Ladda comments: "To date, the OTC drugs market has primarily catered for common ailments such as coughs, colds and headaches, which are not perceived as requiring a visit to a medical practitioner. For the most part, the pharmaceutical industry is in agreement that the 'easy' prescription-to-OTC switches have been completed, and that the coming years will be focused on chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension."
"Indeed, pharmacists can expect to attend to rarer and more complex conditions, and as such will be a key part of the movement towards greater patient autonomy and expanded access to healthcare."
The company also claims that the increasing costs of healthcare will drive the OTC drugs market, as patients are encouraged to avoid prescription therapies for lower-priced alternatives.
The report concludes that cost-conscious insurance programs will drive this trend even further by providing dramatically increased incentives for the use of newly-approved OTC drugs.