• HP_120billionvalue
  • HP_Banner1
  • HP_60million
  • HP_Banner2
  • HP_OTCsave67
  • HP_Banner3
  • HP_93percentprefer
  • HP_Banner4

What is an over-the-counter medicine?

What is an over-the-counter medicine?

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are sold directly to consumers without a prescription. There are approximately 800 OTC active ingredients available today that constitute more than 300,000 OTC medicines in the healthcare marketplace. They are sold in more than 750,000 retail outlets including pharmacies, grocery stores, convenience stores, mass merchandise retailers, etc. Like prescription drugs, OTC medicines are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and are safe and effective when used as directed. The Drug Facts label instructs consumers on how to properly choose and use them. OTCs treat many common ailments including pain, fever, cough and cold, upset stomach, and allergies.

OTC medicines are the trusted first line of treatment for millions of consumers.


Who We Are

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 135-year-old national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system $6-$7, contributing a total of $102 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to empowering consumer self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products.

Learn More

Connect With Us


Connect with CHPA and KnowYourOTCs.org via social media.

  • LinkedIn Story Image
    10/21/2016 3:10:15 PM

    We are proud to announce a new public education campaign – MyOldMedsLA – created in partnership with our colleagues at AdvaMed, BIO, GPhA, and PhRMA. This program, based in Los Angeles County, Ca. is designed to improve consumer awareness of medication disposal and to help residents easily locate existing disposal centers. For more information, visit myoldmedsla.com

  • LinkedIn Story Image
    10/13/2016 7:48:06 PM

    Our 2016 webinar program continues! Don’t miss our October 18 webinar on how to develop a successful Rx-to-OTC switch partnership. For more information or to register, click here: https://lnkd.in/dfZeWg8

  • LinkedIn Story Image
    10/7/2016 6:49:41 PM

    We are proud to announce that President & CEO Scott Melville was named “2016 Humanitarian of the Year” by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) at their annual awards dinner last night. Congratulations to Scott and thank you to our members for supporting all of our abuse awareness and prevention efforts!

CHPA Highlights

CHPA Legislative Action

Visit our Legislative Action Center to reinstate OTC medicines in tax-preferred accounts.