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Chile’s Rx and OTC Pharma Market: Consumption Patterns, Market Leaders, and Future Opportunities

Feature picture: Photo by Ximena Nahmias on Unsplash

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The Chilean pharma industry, both in Rx and OTC medications, has been experiencing steady and solid growth. The expected projection of total OTC and Rx sales is USD 5,27 Bln by 2035 (at ex-factory price), based on forecasts from Chameleon Pharma experts.

In Chile, 15% of consumers buy their medicines online. In general, 30% of pocket spending is allocated to healthcare, which is higher than the average (18%) calculated by the OECD for the 38 member countries. These consumption patterns position Chile as an attractive prospect for the self-medication and prescription pharma industry.

The most relevant and reputable pharmacy chains in Chile in terms of percentage of annual sales are:

  • Ahumada
  • Cruz Verde
  • Salcobrand
  • Dr. Simi
Chile's Rx and OTC Pharma Market: A Consumption Patterns, Market Leaders, and Future Opportunities

Figure 1: Chilean total revenue by type of pharmacy.

While online pharmacy chains currently hold a dominant position, independent pharmacies still command a significant share of the market, accounting for 44% of total sales. This highlights the ongoing presence of competition and the potential for further industry growth.

In Chile, the drugs that are most purchased in the private market are:

  • Paracetamol 500 mg
  • Losartan 50 mg
  • Ibuprofen 600 mg

Losartan 500 mg is the only one of the above mentioned drugs that needs a medical prescription. While Paracetamol and Ibuprofen are analgesics, Losartan is used as a treatment for high blood pressure, hypertension. Its place in the Top 3 most acquired drugs aligns with the high rates of hypertension in Chile. Hypertension is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular diseases with a high burden of attributable deaths along with Ischemic Heart Disease and Cerebrovascular Disease (Stroke).

Chile's Rx and OTC Pharma Market: A Consumption Patterns, Market Leaders, and Future Opportunities

Figure 2: Chilean mortality rate due to cardiovascular diseases.

Overall, the market of heart disease drugs is promising both in Chile and other Latin American countries, considering hypertension and other health issues in the cardiovascular segment, such as Ischemic Heart Disease, Cerebrovascular Disease (Stroke) and Inflammatory Heart Disease. 

Chameleon Pharma Consulting Group has more than two decades of experience in providing assistance and guidance to companies wishing to enter or expand into international pharma markets. CPC has covered several continents with more than 300 projects boasting a team of 22 experts ready to offer support from strategic positions across the globe.

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