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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 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 Us

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Connect with CHPA and KnowYourOTCs.org via social media.

  • LinkedIn Story Image
    9/17/2018 6:29:59 PM

    CHPA Submits Comments to FDA Regarding Innovative Approaches for Nonprescription Drugs https://bit.ly/2PJNHWV

  • LinkedIn Story Image
    9/10/2018 5:01:28 PM

    The dietary supplement industry released updated protocols for standardized information about dietary supplements – or SIDI – to help suppliers and manufacturers communicate better. It’s good news for consumers, too. Learn more at https://bit.ly/2CFj7Mr

  • LinkedIn Story Image
    8/30/2018 5:59:31 PM

    Congratulations to our longtime partners Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and the 731 coalitions awarded Drug-Free Communities Program grants! https://bit.ly/2wuXg4G

CHPA Highlights

CHPA's 2017 Annual Report

View our 2017 Annual Report.