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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

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 137-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 CHPA and KnowYourOTCs.org via social media.

  • LinkedIn Story Image
    2/19/2019 5:53:13 PM

    Hundreds of consumer healthcare executives have already signed up. Take a look at the current attendee list to see who's coming to CHPA's 2019 AEC. See you there! https://bit.ly/2Ej0I6P

  • LinkedIn Story Image
    2/11/2019 2:55:38 PM

    It's the middle of the night and you wake up to the disturbing sound of your little one crying and sniffling with a cold, sore throat or fever. And, if you're like many parents, you reach into the medicine cabinet, seeking some relief. https://n.pr/2Sruyi7

  • LinkedIn Story Image
    2/8/2019 5:09:03 PM

    Early-Bird Discount for AEC 2019 Ends Today! All the education sessions are designed to inspire attendees to think differently about what their companies need to do to grow & succeed in this rapidly evolving self-care environment. You don't want to miss it! http://bit.ly/2S2h24F

CHPA Highlights

CHPA's 2017 Annual Report

View our 2017 Annual Report.