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Self-Medication One of Many Factors Driving OTC Drug Market Past $80 Billion by 2012
Date:5/7/2008

NEW YORK, May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Longer life expectancy, greater interest in self-medicating, improved availability and easier access are all factors fueling growth in sales of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. The world market boasted $68.4 billion in 2007 sales, with a 3.9% CAGR since 2005. According to a new report by Kalorama Information, World OTC Pharmaceutical Markets: Self-Medication, Developing and Petro-Rich Economies, BTC and Other Growth Trends, this market should enjoy a higher 4.3% CAGR through 2012.

Consumers are taking an increasingly active role in self-medication, due to rising healthcare costs, a large uninsured population and ever more choices in OTC products. Purchasing OTC drugs is also more convenient and money is saved avoiding doctor's visits. In fact, recent studies have uncovered that up to 40% of consumers do not fill a doctor's prescription, rather substituting with an OTC alternative. Ultimately, purchasing OTC drugs saves U.S. consumers around $15 billion annually.

OTC drug sales account for between 8% and 30% of total pharmaceutical sales in the majority of world regions. In developed regions, such as the U.S. and the U.K., they accounted for 7.7% and 15.8% respectively in 2007. Higher percentages of OTC sales are often found in regions that are less developed, such as India or China.

"The state of the economy, lifestyle, culture, the time it takes to see a doctor and the condition of medical care all contribute to people seeking to self-medicate," notes Kalorama analyst Melissa Elder. "While it's not the optimal method of treatment, and could lead to complications and undiagnosed conditions, it is nonetheless an important factor driving sales, especially in emerging countries like China."

Kalorama Information's report World OTC Pharmaceutical Markets: Self-Medication, Developing and Petro-Rich Economies, BTC and Other Growth Trends covers the latest OTC trends, and developments in North and South America
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SOURCE Kalorama Information
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