Important players in the consumer healthcare industry have been pushing Asian regulators to increase access to self-care products and loosen the rules surrounding their advertising and sales. As populations from Japan to China suffer increasingly from chronic and age related diseases, industry experts consider Asia a key driver for growth in the global over-the-counter (OTC) market.
To capture that market, groups like the World Self-Medication Industry Conference are encouraging its members to lobby Asian regulators for:
- Better access to OTC treatment, by permitting sales of low-risk medicines on the mass market and allowing for faster switch processes from prescription to OTC medications.
- Self-care education and medicine usage classes, like those currently mandatory for all Japanese senior high school students.
- Fewer restrictions on in-country advertising and the branding of OTC medicines and devices.
As the self-care market in Asia matures, it will experience consolidation in the retail sector, regional expansion by local players and acquisitions by multinational companies.