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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
    5 Mar

    @hispanic411 Looking forward to seeing the Univision team! Use #AEC15 to make sure all attendees see your posts. See you in Florida!

  • Twitter profile image
    5 Mar

    Now that HR 1270 has been introduced, time for Congress to act. Let your constituents use THEIR money to buy OTCs. pic.twitter.com/MZNNCjEAEV

  • Twitter profile image
    5 Mar

    We're all set for CHPA's 2015 Annual Executive Conference starting Sunday in Florida. Record attendance! See u there pic.twitter.com/UfkwkWeoSy

CHPA Highlights

CHPA Legislative Action

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