An Important Enabler of Self-Care and a Growth Engine for the OTC Market

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated major shifts in consumer behavior, intensifying over-the-counter (OTC) usage and purchasing. Moreover, the public health emergency caused consumers to find new ways to care for themselves through virtual doctor visits and the use of apps and telemedicineall causing a never-before-seen surge in sales of consumer healthcare products. 

Rx-to-OTC switches have been occurring for more than 40 years, and some OTC marketers still view switching as a lucrative growth engine. According to IRi data, overall OTC sales grew 5.9% in 2021, while the Rx-to-OTC switch segment increased 8.3%, accounting for 28% of the OTC industry growth. 

This whitepaper, done in collaboration with IRi, highlights the history, current landscape, and best future opportunities for Rx-to-OTC switches, including: 

  • The benefits and evolution of switch 
  • Details on how regulatory receptivity to switch is increasing 
  • Recent switches and the most promising potential future switch categories 
  • How new technologies for at-home testing, telemedicine, and smartphone apps could facilitate additional switch opportunities 
  • Keys for appropriately weighing a switch business opportunity versus its considerable regulatory risks
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