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2/3 The Expansion of the Global Consumer Health and Phyto Industry by 2035: Asia Focus

This is the second of a three-part series analyzing the OTC and Phyto Global Market´s prospects through 2035.

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Global OTC and Phyto ex-factory sales are projected to reach 334 billion USD in 2035, opening a broad way for active OTC players as well as for new entrants. This article aims to provide insights into the top potential OTC markets and segments, in order to help you hone your strategy for the next 10-15 years. 

General Evolution of the Global OTC and Phyto Market 

In the period between 2020-2023, the self-medication markets around the world began recovering slowly from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Entire healthcare systems were focused on COVID-19 treatment (including vaccines), which prevented consumers from purchasing OTC drugs in pharmacies.  Starting in 2024, the global OTC market is expected to expand with a stable growth rate of roughly 5%.  Although North America and Europe continue to hold the largest slice of the world’s OTC market, emerging regions such as Latin America and Southeast Asia are developing at a much faster growth rate. 

Map showing the OTC world value by continent

Map: Global OTC and Phyto Market Growth (2035 prospect)


Asian Consumer Health and Phyto Market

Expected to expand with a CAGR of 6,88% between 2030-2035, Asia’s total ex-factory sales for the OTC industry are forecasted to equate to 75.25 billion USD by 2035.

The Increase of Middle-Income Class is Pushing the Demand for Better OTC Products

The dynamic economies of the developing countries in Southeast Asia have broadened the middle-class segment as well as the private pocket for OTC purchases. This indicates the need for a variety of OTC drugs for different health problems. In general, Asian consumers from the upper middle class are willing to pay a relatively high price for premium products. Meanwhile, the rest would prefer affordable products or traditional remedies.

Cough Remedies as the Most Dynamic Category in the Region.

Asian countries are known to be the manufacturing hubs of the world due to their competitive labor costs. A high population density has additionally worsened the situation of air pollution on the continent. Therefore, cough & cold, flu, and allergy are the most dominant segments in the OTC market in this region. In many Asian countries, European Phyto products are very well-perceived and are among the leading brands. 

The Increasing Geriatric Population Mostly Searches for Healthcare and Beauty Products 

The geriatric population has been growing in many Asian countries. As the education level and sources of knowledge have improved, citizens have begun to stay ahead of health problems by taking OTC drugs prophylactically.  

Additionally, the beauty industry in Asia is one of the leading markets in the worldwide healthcare industry. With skincare products e.g. masks, contact lenses, etc.; and food supplements e.g. collagen, omega 3, biotin, etc. playing an important role in this segment. 

Internet Penetration is Enhancing the Development of Online Pharmacies. 

South Korea and Vietnam are the most dynamic markets for OTC drug development in Asia. The large amount of time spent on the internet in both countries has helped the promotion of OTC products reach consumers more conveniently. Also, the rise of e-commerce and online pharmacies has offered a great opportunity for OTC drugs to be delivered to consumers in a more timely manner. 

Rx-to-OTC Switch 

The switch from Rx-to-OTC has been happening rapidly all over the global healthcare industry. In order to get OTC status, the medicine must be effective and include comprehensive labels to ensure it is used properly. However, the most important prerequisite for the switch is the safety of the drug. 

Angkor trees on a a ruin

Entering different local markets requires deep knowledge of each country’s characteristics. We at Chameleon Pharma Consulting Group, with expertise via more than 300 international projects, can provide you with valuable insights into mature and especially, emerging markets. And we are happy to assist you in internationalizing your business. Contact us today!


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