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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.


Who We Are

CHPA is the not-for-profit association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements.

CHPA is one of the oldest trade associations in the United States and represents one of the most dynamic, cost-effective segments in the healthcare environment today.

Learn More

Connect With Us

Connect with CHPA and OTCSafety.org via social media.

  • Twitter profile image
    31 Jul

    Every #OTC product has a specific purpose, a condition or conditions that the medicine will treat. Learn more here: http://t.co/3rHVmWy9Gb

  • Twitter profile image
    31 Jul

    Tons of FREE #OTC educational brochures/resources all at your fingertips: http://t.co/P1u17BR8qJ Browse, download or order one today!

  • Twitter profile image
    31 Jul

    Good #health doesn't happen by accident. To be healthy make taking care of your body a priority. http://t.co/ILmJ33zwwF

CHPA Highlights

CHPA Legislative Action

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