• HP_120billionvalue
  • HP_Banner1
  • HP_60million
  • HP_Banner2
  • HP_OTCsave67
  • HP_Banner3
  • HP_93percentprefer
  • HP_Banner4

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 138-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 more than $7, contributing a total of $146 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to empowering consumer self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products.

Learn More

Connect With Us


Connect with CHPA and KnowYourOTCs.org via social media.

  • Twitter profile image

  • Twitter profile image

  • Twitter profile image

  • LinkedIn Story Image
    6/17/2019 3:48:59 PM

    Given the high consumer interest in CBD-containing products, CHPA applauds the US FDA for establishing a commitment to developing science-based CBD policies. http://bit.ly/2IfuhbA

  • LinkedIn Story Image
    6/12/2019 8:06:14 PM

    Don't miss the CHPA Marketing Conference #CHPAMC19 Keynote Session with Erik Qualman! This session will give attendees tips and tricks on how to implement current and future digital trends to maximize your organization’s impact. Register today before the early-bird deadline on June 19! http://bit.ly/2KgA9TY #CHPAMC19 #marketingconference

  • LinkedIn Story Image
    6/12/2019 3:45:54 PM

    CHPA applauds the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee for language in their recent committee report urging FDA to update the OTC Monograph label for acetaminophen to include weight-based dosing instructions for children ages six months to two years. http://bit.ly/2IbgK4J

CHPA Highlights

CHPA's 2018 Annual Report

View our 2018 Annual Report.