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South Korea

N Seoul Tower, Seoul, South Korea

Featured image: Photo by Kenneth Bastian on Unsplash

The South-Korean Self-Medication & Pharma market and future outlook to 2035

South Korea’s Self-Medication and Pharma market is among the world’s top markets, offering golden opportunities if you are considering expanding your business internationally. 

South Korea has one of the largest OTC and pharma markets in the Asian-Pacific region and ranks 11th amongst the world’s consumer health and pharma markets. The market was valued at USD 12,9 billion in 2020 and should reach around USD 30,7 billion ex-factory in 2035, according to Chameleon Pharma Consulting Group forecasts. Increases in insur­ance cov­er­age, South Korea’s aging pop­u­la­tion, and favorable gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tives are expected to con­tinue dri­ving the country’s growth.

The country’s indus­try is highly frag­mented, with almost all domes­tic consumer health and pharma com­pa­nies hav­ing a strong port­fo­lio of generic prod­ucts rather than expen­sive, branded drugs. The South Korean mar­ket is tough to enter, but clearly reg­u­lated IP rights, chang­ing demo­graph­ics, and gov­ern­ment sup­port have con­tributed to mak­ing the South Korean self-medication and Rx indus­try attrac­tive to multi­-na­tional com­pa­nies. South Korea has been described as a ‘tran­si­tional healthcare mar­ket’, with high CAGRs expected in the com­bined sales of OTC and Rx med­i­cines over the next years.

The South Korean gov­ern­ment has signed free trade agreements with the US, Europe, and India that are aimed at improv­ing the IPR frame­work in the coun­try and mak­ing the OTC and Rx indus­try more attrac­tive to for­eign invest­ment. In gen­eral, the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement aims to strengthen trans­parency in drug pric­ing deci­sions, gov­ern­ment poli­cies, and enforce­ment.

Entering the intricate South Korean market may be a challenge for any OTC and pharma company, but Chameleon Pharma Consulting Group has years of expertise to support you in entering this market!

South Korea OTC and pharma market in 2035

USD 30,7 Billion

OTC and pharma market size, ex-factory


OTC and pharma market growth

South Korea in numbers

Total population


Population growth

Birth rate

Mortality rate

Life expectancy

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