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Consumer healthcare refers to healthcare products that are easily accessible to consumers and do not necessarily require a prescription.

Irrespective of the uncertainties in the global economy, one industry which always seems to be in demand is the consumer healthcare industry. The consumer healthcare market across the world has recorded significant growth in terms of market demand and revenue inflows. Further, substantial escalation in research and development in the pharmaceutical sector has largely expanded the market capacity of the industry.

There are, however, several challenges within the industry that are likely to affect the growth in the foreseeable future. Increased government intervention and the growing influence of insurance companies on the price regulatory mechanisms are likely to affect growth patterns of the industry.


Broadly, consumer healthcare refers to healthcare products that are easily accessible to consumers and do not necessarily require a prescription. Traditionally, the U.S. and Europe have been the leading markets for consumer healthcare. While they continue to dominate both the supply chain and the consumption side of the market, there is a noticeable rise in demand from the Asia Pacific region over the last decade. Further growth in both market capacity, as well as market demand from the Asia Pacific countries, are anticipated over the forecast period.

Consumer Healthcare Market Size

  • The consumer healthcare market in the Asia Pacific region has the fastest growth rate projection at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18 percent. In India alone, the over-the-counter drugs industry has advanced at a CAGR of 9 percent and is expected to earn a market value of $6.5 billion by 2026.
  • Prescription drug sales worldwide are on the rise as well, which is one of the major factors that boost the consumer healthcare markets.
  • The growing market size of the consumer healthcare industry in the Asia Pacific may be attributed to the booming trends of self-treatment in developing economies. This is further complemented by the widespread over-the-counter (OTC) drug markets in North America and Europe.
  • An increased prescription and OTC access to drugs online through websites like Healthkart, Vitacost, etc., has positively impacted the consumer healthcare markets, ushering in more revenue over a short span of time. Consumer healthcare retail markets are also likely to undergo some major transformation due to the surge of eCommerce platforms in this domain. Amazon has launched a new line of healthcare products that cater to almost every healthcare requirement and may be accessed at a simple click of the mouse. This is also putting a strain on the industry practices of price negotiations.

The growing market size of the consumer healthcare industry in the Asia Pacific may be attributed to the booming trends of self-treatment in developing economies.

  • Regionally, the U.S. and Europe have been the hub of the consumer healthcare markets for the longest time. However, Asia Pacific countries have emerging markets that are likely to bolster the overall market value significantly.

Consumer Healthcare Market Share and Market Leaders

In recent years, there has been a major shift in the regulatory paradigms with respect to the pricing of consumer healthcare products. This has generated the need for innovative research and development.

  • Contrary to the traditionally antagonistic markets of pharmaceuticals and well-being products, the emerging trends in the consumer healthcare market are the interdependence between the two. As the market share for wellness products continues to rise on account of heightened fitness awareness and self-medication practices worldwide, pharmaceutical companies are venturing into more preventive and palliative healthcare products. This might alter the dynamics of the different market segments but the overall market trend projected is positive.
  • Another prominent market trend is the predilection of the manufacturing companies towards Latin American companies. Low manufacturing costs and untapped markets in Latin America promise to be an opportune domain for the pharmaceutical giants to penetrate and localize their products. This can substantially expand the market size of consumer healthcare products. Currently, North America claims 36 percent of the market share of the industry but these emerging statistics are likely to alter the market share over the forecast period.

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  • The consumer healthcare market remains quite fragmented and is driven by sequential mergers and acquisitions. Pfizer recorded the maximum market share in 2019 with $53.7 billion market revenue in 2019. Other key market leaders in the consumer healthcare industry may be listed as Roche, Merck, Sanofi, Novartis, Johnson and Johnson, GSK, Myoderm, Piramal Healthcare, Recipharm, Catalent Inc. among others.

Conclusion

Overtly, the market demand in the consumer healthcare sector seems to be on the rise but there are pressing constraints imposed by patent expiries, regulatory frameworks, and limited R&D prospects. The need of the hour is to develop capacities that respond to the needs of the markets, foster a web of allied and supporting healthcare services, scale-up and diversify the distribution patterns and develop engagement models that are adaptable to the regional shifts in the existing consumption patterns. However, with promising growth rates and emerging markets, the consumer healthcare markets look promising.


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