Brazil’s Over-the-Counter Market

Today’s Latin American Over-the-Counter (OTC) market is riding tailwinds of social ascension and positive regulatory change, enabling healthy category growth despite choppy economic conditions.

OTCs in Latin America have long competed against prescription drugs that were commonly sold “under the counter” without the necessary prescription. It is a common tale that if a consumer felt a sore throat coming on, they could stop by their local pharmacy to pick up antibiotics without a confirmed diagnosis, leading to mounting concerns in the region over bacterial resistance.

However, this began to change in 2010 when both Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) and Mexico’s Ministry of Health stepped up enforcement by requiring prescription duplicates and imposing hefty fines on noncompliant pharmacies.

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