According to reports from London, GSK and Pfizer are merging their consumer health businesses to form the largest over-the-counter drug maker in the world. This move is aimed at producing OTC medicines to create a new business that is likely to generate around £10 billion in revenue per year. OTC drugs are drugs that do not require a doctor’s visit or a prescription. These drugs allow users to save time and possibly money from consultation fees. Some OTC drugs include motion sickness pills such as dimenhydrinate and pain relievers such as Acetaminophen.
This move does not come as a total surprise as the OTC drug market has been growing at a staggering rate and that trend is likely to continue. According to Mordor Intelligence, the OTC drug market was valued at $132.79 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of about 6.5% during the forecast period, 2018-2023. Though not totally unexpected, this move is likely to cause ripples in the industry.
There is also a darker side to this story as drug abuse continues to be on the rise. Since these OTC drugs are easily accessible, they are likely to be abused on a large scale. According to Mordor Intelligence, nearly one in every eight teenagers abuse OTC cough syrups. Thus, if the pharma giants want to reap a full reward, they might have to pay more attention to this before regulators step in.