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Picture of the city center of Toronto in Canada with a traditionnal townhall in the middle of high modern buildings

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Canada: a strong Self-Medication and Prescription Drugs market. What you need to know to enter this market with your products

Canada’s Self-Medication and Prescription Drugs market is really strong and powered by a soaring R&D environment, confirming its place as one of the biggest markets in the world. 

The Canadian consumer healthcare and pharma sector are one of the most innovative industries in Canada, and most multinational companies have multiple offices across the country. Due to its strong industry footprint and positive clinical trial environment, many global OTC and pharma companies have been increasing their investments in this sector over the past few years contributing to the steady growth of the industry. As it stands, by 2035 the Canadian pharma market is set to reach nearly US$ 44 billion. Canada has a strong research and development environment which is helping to further growth in this industry, and the establishment of government partnerships and collaborations with local businesses continues to bridge the gap between research and industry.

Generic medications dominate the market with generics accounting for over 70% of prescriptions in Canada, and by 2030 it is expected to increase to over 80%. The majority of medications are still dispensed by large retail pharmacy chains, and there are over 7,000 of these chain stores in Canada compared to just over 2,000 independent pharmacies.

In terms of healthcare spending, the Canadian Institute for Health Information has reported that total health spending in 2019 was approximately US$5,000 per person and represented 11.6% of the GDP. Due to the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases such as obesity and the overall aging population, healthcare spending is expected to increase within the next decade. Canada has a publicly funded healthcare system, meaning that for many health-related expenses, patients do not have to pay out-of-pocket. However, it is important to note that the healthcare system is not controlled nationally but rather varies by province/territory. 

If you are planning to enter the Canadian pharma market, the regional public and private reimbursement requirements must be considered and appropriately balanced to ensure success.

Contact the Chameleon Pharma Consulting Group to have more information about Market Entry, Regulatory topics, or GMP Certificates in Canada! 

The Canadian OTC and Pharma market in 2035

USD 44,16 Billion

OTC and pharma market size


OTC and pharma market growth

Canada in numbers

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