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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.

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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.

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Connect With Us

 

Connect with CHPA and KnowYourOTCs.org via social media.

  • LinkedIn Story Image
    20 May

    A huge thanks to our speakers, sponsors, and attendees who gathered to discuss "Collaborating for Consumer Healthcare Solutions" at this year's Regulatory, Scientific & Quality (RSQ) Conference.

  • LinkedIn Story Image
    11 May

    We are proud to work in an industry that supports consumer self-care. Did you know physicians estimate more than 40 million appointments each year could be avoided with better self-care, including by treating common ailments with OTC medicines?

  • LinkedIn Story Image
    6 May

    Today CHPA staff gathered to wish a fond farewell to Emily Skor, who has led the communications function at CHPA for five years. We wish her much success in her new role as CEO of Growth Energy!

CHPA Highlights

CHPA Legislative Action

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