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US OTC Pain Management Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the OTC Pain Management market, its consumers and the major players who make up that market.

Market

Point of sale market data

In conjunction with IRi, extensive point of sale data shows you what consumers are spending their money on

Market Size

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Marissa Gilbert, a leading analyst in the Health & Wellness sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

A majority of consumers turn to some form of OTC (over-the-counter) pain management product to treat pain, with OTC internal analgesics remaining the dominate choice for pain relief, though external analgesics continue to experience faster growth. Looking forward, consumers’ need for pain treatments is not expected to change, and a preference for familiar brands will remain; however, store brand remedies are considered an acceptable choice in many cases and will challenge market growth. Marissa Gilbert
Associate Director - Health & Wellness

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

This report discusses the following key topics:

Definition

This Report focuses on analgesics and pain management devices that are available over the counter/without a prescription. For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has segmented the OTC analgesics and pain management devices market as follows.

  • OTC internal analgesics, such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, magnesium salicylate
  • OTC external analgesics, such as rubs, topical creams/sprays, and patches/wraps with heating/cooling properties
  • Muscle/body support devices, such as muscle sleeves and bandages and compression hosiery

Electrotherapy devices, such as TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) units, are also covered in this Report, but not included in the market size, forecast, or market breakdown.

Excluded from this Report are:

  • Antihistamines, decongestants, sinus, cough, cold, and flu remedies
  • OTC analgesics and muscle/body support and electrotherapy products purchased through health care providers, gyms/health clubs, and other non-retail establishments

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Market overview
          • OTC pain management market relies on high pain incidence
            • Figure 1: Total US retail sales and forecast of OTC pain medication and devices, at current prices, 2013-23
          • The market is sustained by internal remedies; external remedies offer growth
            • Figure 2: Total US retail sales and forecast of OTC pain medication and devices, by segment, at current prices, 2013-23
          • The issues
            • As familiarity with a remedy increases, so does store brand acceptance
              • Figure 3: Attitudes toward store brand remedies, by pain reliever used to treat any pain location, April 2018
            • Size of external user base not growing
              • Figure 4: Pain treatment – Any type of pain (net), April 2017 and April 2018
            • Young adults willing to try alternatives to traditional pain relievers
              • Figure 5: Select pain treatment – Any type of pain (net), by age, April 2018
            • The opportunities
              • Pain isn’t isolated to one part of the body
                • Figure 6: Repertoire of any pain experience, April 2018
              • Changing US demographics could impact market
                • Figure 7: Select pain treatment – Any type of pain (net), by Hispanic origin, April 2018
              • Safety concerns drive external use
                • Figure 8: Agree OTC external pain relievers are safer than internal remedies, by pain reliever used to treat any pain location, April 2018
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • OTC pain management market and pain incidence are steady
                  • Internals hold steady, externals give a lift, support devices dip
                    • OTC TENS devices offer alternative to manage pain, but sales slowing
                      • Pain impacts quality of life
                        • Increasing healthcare costs solidifies OTC necessity
                          • Dependency concerns exist
                            • Opioid crisis calls attention to the need for improved pain management
                            • Market Size and Forecast

                              • OTC pain management market relies on unwavering pain incidence
                                • Figure 9: Total US retail sales and forecast of OTC pain medication and devices, at current prices, 2013-23
                                • Figure 10: Total US retail sales and forecast of OTC pain medication and devices, at current prices, 2013-23
                            • Market Breakdown

                              • The market is upheld by internals; externals continue to shine
                                • Figure 11: Total US retail sales and forecast of OTC pain medication and devices, by segment, at current prices, 2013-23
                                • Figure 12: Total US retail sales of OTC pain medication and devices, by segment, at current prices, 2016 and 2018
                            • Market Perspective

                              • Spotlight on OTC TENS devices
                                • Early fervor waning
                                  • Figure 13: Multi-outlet sales of electrotherapy devices, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2017 and 2018
                                • Grow user base by targeting pain location
                                • Market Factors

                                  • Pain impacts quality of life
                                    • Figure 14: Agree pain negatively impacts my daily activities, by race and Hispanic origin, April 2018
                                  • Healthcare costs climb; consumers respond by treating with OTCs
                                    • Figure 15: Familiarity with treating body pain, March 2018
                                  • Dependency concerns are present
                                    • Figure 16: Agree concerned about dependency on pain relievers, by repertoire of pain experience, April 2018
                                  • Spotlight on the opioid crisis: better practices for pain management
                                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                    • Johnson & Johnson is the leader in OTC pain relief
                                      • Natural pain relief a must for some; free-from provides a natural halo
                                        • Sales stall as consumers seek lower cost, reusable, or DIY relief
                                          • Internal feminine pain relievers struggle; new approaches emerging
                                            • Preventing pain and aromatherapy upcoming for relief
                                              • Drug store retailers are on the front line
                                                • Familiarity and trust vital for pain remedy loyalty
                                                • Company and Brand Sales of OTC Pain Medication and Devices

                                                  • Johnson & Johnson increases lead in the market
                                                    • Figure 17: Multi-outlet sales of OTC pain medication and devices, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2017 and 2018
                                                • What’s Working?

                                                  • Tylenol continues to dominate
                                                    • Figure 18: Multi-outlet sales of internal analgesics, by leading brands, rolling 52 weeks 2017 and 2018
                                                    • Figure 19: Multi-outlet sales of Tylenol and Children’s Tylenol, rolling 52 weeks 2017 and 2018
                                                  • Natural pain relief a must for some consumers
                                                    • Figure 20: Prefer to manage pain with natural remedies, by pain treatment, April 2018
                                                    • Figure 21: Share of pain reliever product launches, by natural and free-from claims, 2013-17
                                                  • Hero ingredients continue to drive external analgesic sales
                                                    • Figure 22: Multi-outlet sales of select external analgesics, by companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2017 and 2018
                                                • What’s Struggling?

                                                  • Muscle/body support devices lack novelty
                                                    • Figure 23: Multi-outlet sales of muscle/body support devices, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2017 and 2018
                                                  • Heat/ice pack sales dragging
                                                    • Figure 24: Multi-outlet sales of external analgesic rubs and heat/ice packs, 2013-17
                                                  • Feminine pain reliever sales falling; competitors taking new angles
                                                    • Figure 25: Multi-outlet sales of feminine pain relievers, 2013-17
                                                • What’s Next?

                                                  • Preventing migraines before they start
                                                    • Figure 26: Any pain and head pain experience, by age, April 2018
                                                  • Aromatherapy offers supplementary pain relief
                                                    • Drug store retailers are at the front line for pain relief outreach
                                                    • Select Brand Perceptions

                                                      • Brand perceptions show a relationship to product sales
                                                        • Familiarity with internal remedies ties with ease of finding in store
                                                          • Figure 27: Correspondence analysis – Brand perceptions, by brand awareness, April 2018
                                                        • Correspondence analysis methodology
                                                          • Figure 28: Brand perceptions, by brand awareness, April 2018
                                                        • Limited awareness restricts external remedies potential
                                                          • Figure 29: Not aware of brand, April 2018
                                                        • Japanese heritage of Salonpas resonates with Asian adults
                                                          • Figure 30: Perceptions of Salonpas, by Asian race, April 2018
                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                        • Pain is universal
                                                          • Pain sufferers are actively managing pain
                                                            • Identifying pain triggers can help sell relief
                                                              • Pain sufferers seek treatment information from multiple sources
                                                                • Store brand pain relievers bring more than a low price
                                                                  • External remedies offering longer lasting relief could bring in new users
                                                                  • Pain Experience

                                                                    • Pain is pervasive
                                                                      • Figure 31: Pain experience, April 2018
                                                                    • Pain isn’t isolated to one part of the body
                                                                      • Figure 32: Repertoire of any pain experience, by gender and age, April 2018
                                                                    • Certain pain points are more prevalent based on age
                                                                      • Figure 33: Head, abdominal, knee, and hip pain experience, by age, April 2018
                                                                      • Figure 34: Source of pain, by pain experience, April 2018
                                                                  • Pain Treatment

                                                                    • Pain sufferers seek relief
                                                                        • Figure 35: Pain treatment – Any type of pain (net), April 2018
                                                                      • Young adults more likely to try alternatives to traditional pain relievers
                                                                        • Figure 36: Pain treatment – Any type of pain (net), by gender and age, April 2018
                                                                      • Changing US demographics could impact market
                                                                        • Figure 37: Select pain treatment – Any type of pain (net), by race and Hispanic origin, April 2018
                                                                      • More pain, more remedies used
                                                                        • Figure 38: Select pain treatment – Any type of pain (net), by repertoire of pain experience, April 2018
                                                                    • Source of Pain

                                                                      • Health and movement equally cause pain; uncertainty a barrier to treatment
                                                                        • Figure 39: Source of pain, April 2018
                                                                      • Health pain sources and age linked
                                                                        • Figure 40: Select sources of pain, by age, April 2018
                                                                    • Pain Management Information

                                                                      • Pain sufferers are gathering information from multiple sources
                                                                        • Figure 41: Pain management information, April 2018
                                                                      • People look for information where they are
                                                                        • Figure 42: Select pain management information, by age, April 2018
                                                                    • Attitudes toward Store Brand Remedies

                                                                      • Store brand pain relievers bring more than a low price
                                                                        • Figure 43: Attitudes toward store brand remedies, April 2018
                                                                        • Figure 44: Multi-outlet sales of OTC pain management medication and devices, by private label, rolling 52 weeks 2017 and 2018
                                                                      • Younger women are seeking a deal
                                                                        • Figure 45: Generally choose the lowest priced pain reliever, by gender and age, April 2018
                                                                      • Remedy users more willing to choose store brand versions
                                                                        • Figure 46: Attitudes toward store brand remedies, by pain reliever used to treat any pain location (net), April 2018
                                                                    • Attitudes toward External Remedies

                                                                      • Longer lasting relief wanted; safety concerns driving external use
                                                                        • Figure 47: Attitudes toward external remedies, by external remedy usage, April 2018
                                                                      • Younger adults want proof
                                                                        • Figure 48: Select attitudes toward external remedies, by age, April 2018
                                                                      • More pain types drives interest in new external remedies
                                                                        • Figure 49: Would try new external pain relieving products, by repertoire of pain experience, April 2018
                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                        • Sales data
                                                                          • Fan chart forecast
                                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                                              • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                  • Terms
                                                                                  • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                      • Figure 50: Total US sales and forecast of OTC pain medication and devices, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2013-23
                                                                                      • Figure 51: Total US retail sales and forecast of OTC pain medication and devices, by segment, at current prices, 2013-23
                                                                                      • Figure 52: Total US retail sales and forecast of internal analgesics, at current prices, 2013-23
                                                                                      • Figure 53: Total US retail sales and forecast of external analgesics, at current prices, 2013-23
                                                                                      • Figure 54: Total US retail sales and forecast of muscle and body support devices, at current prices, 2013-23
                                                                                      • Figure 55: Total US retail sales of OTC pain medication and devices, by channel, at current prices, 2013-18
                                                                                  • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                                      • Figure 56: Multi-outlet sales of internal analgesics, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2017 and 2018
                                                                                      • Figure 57: Multi-outlet sales of external analgesics, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2017 and 2018
                                                                                      • Figure 58: Multi-outlet sales of muscle/body support devices, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2017 and 2018
                                                                                  • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                      • Figure 59: US population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2013-23
                                                                                      • Figure 60: Correspondence analysis – Pain treatment, April 2018
                                                                                    • Methodology