Wholesale OTC: What People Absolutely Need to Know

In this article, we will be discussing what all resellers need to know about wholesale OTC (over the counter) medications. OTC medications allow people to self-manage symptoms that they have such as pain, coughs and colds, diarrhea, constipation, or acne. Self-care and self-medication practices are essential components of any health care system which is why OTC medications are necessary. 

However, there are also risks involved such as improper self-diagnosis, inappropriate dosage, addiction upon prolonged use, and drug interactions. It’s important that everyone knows the positives and the negatives of OTC drugs before making the decision to take them.

Wholesale OTC: General Overview

At one time, most drugs were available without a prescription. Before the FDA existed, almost anything could be put in a bottle and sold as a cure. Alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and opium were included in some OTC products without notification to users. The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, enacted in 1938, gave the FDA some authority to issue regulations. But the act wasn’t clear about which drugs could be sold by prescription only and which could be sold OTC. 

The global OTC market is popular because adults prefer to buy drugs for minor diseases, without consulting their doctor. The market is divided into cough & cold products, sleep aids, antacids, feminine care, and many others. Based on dosage form, it is classified into tablets, hard capsules, powders, ointments, soft capsules, liquids, and others.

On the basis of distribution channel, it is divided into pharmacies, grocery stores, online pharmacies, and others. OTC medications are likely to become more prevalent, especially as healthcare insurance and prescription drug costs continue to increase. For certain segments of the market, particularly millennials and older Americans, OTC drugs are a budget-conscious alternative to prescription medications.

Wholesale OTC: Medication Risks

Studies show that nine in ten Americans use OTC medications in order to treat themselves before going to a doctor. With more patients going online for advice, that trend isn’t going to reverse itself any time soon. There are concerns about substance abuse being connected to the use of certain OTC drugs. If you purchase wholesale OTC drugs for your e-commerce store, make sure to warn your customers about the medication risks.

Many patients don’t talk with their physician about whether or not they take OTC medications, they’re unaware of the risks. Just because a drug is sold OTC and easier to possess does not mean that it is not harmless. A clear and obvious reason for OTC medications to be abused is because they’re easy drugs for people to get. Easy access to these drugs is possible because medications for extremely common illnesses are made accessible by prescription (Rx)-to-OTC switch.

patient and doctorzz

According to the Food and Drug Administration, “there are over 300,000 marketed OTC drug products, FDA reviews the active ingredients and the labeling of over eighty therapeutic classes of drugs, for example analgesics or antacids, instead of individual drug products.” Switching of drugs increases patient autonomy while encouraging them to make their health care decisions. About $13 billion savings were recorded for the switch of cold and allergy, analgesics, and dermal products. 

Wholesale OTC: Possible Medication Abuse

The United States Market for over the counter drugs is driven by proactive approach towards ailments. Shift from Rx-to-OTC among people represent the core driver of market growth. Increasing the number of mergers is also playing a crucial role in reshaping the United States OTC drug market. While drug abuse is the major factor hindering the market growth. People around the world are frequently using wholesale OTC medicine that can lead to overuse and abuse. Commonly abused medications include antihistamines, sleep aids, caffeine, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, antitussives and expectorants, dextromethorphan, laxatives, and anabolic steroids.

Laxatives are abused for weight loss and high antihistamines doses are used for euphoria. Opiate based combination drugs and cough or cold drugs that contain dextromethorphan have high potential for abuse. Cough medicines and painkillers are some of the most abused medications. About seventy percent of parent’s say that they do discuss the risks of marijuana use with their children. Only thirty six percent of parent’s say that they do discuss prescription drug use with their children. Only thirty three percent of parent’s say that they do discuss OTC cough or cold medication use with their children.

Wholesale OTC: Medication Addiction & Treatment

OTC drug Addiction

Before starting an OTC online business, resellers should know that physicians and pharmacists help identify and prevent OTC drug abuse. When appropriate, physicians should inquire about all drug use, including prescription, OTC, herbal, and illicit substances. They should treat pain appropriately, to prevent self-medicating, refer patients to rehab programs, and educate them about OTC drug abuse. 

It is demonstrated that sixty two percent of pharmacists report certain measures being taken to curb OTC medication abuse. For example, hiding abused products, questioning people on the purchase of specific products, and refusing to sell specific product. Other techniques being used by pharmacists are referring people to a physician and referring people to a drug abuse team.

If you believe your customers are addicted to an OTC medication, then it’s time for them to seek professional help. Finding the right OTC addiction treatment program is important and there are multiple options to choose from. Some programs to consider are twelve step programs, inpatient drug rehab, and outpatient drug rehab. Completing the rehab program gives someone a greater foundation in recovery and increases the likelihood of long-term sobriety and happiness.


Over the counter drug addiction is an internationally recognized problem that needs to be taken seriously by everyone. It is essential for people to know, understand, and accept all the possible risks of OTC medications. If you would like to find out more please visit addictioncenter.com. You can learn more about which OTC drugs might be dangerous, signs of OTC abuse, and OTC treatment. 

There are a few other alternatives to taking OTC drugs such as homeopathic remedies and other natural treatments. You can check out our catalog to learn more about natural health products that you can sell online.

The featured image is courtesy of totalshape.com.

Victoria Usher is a graduate of Arizona State University and a Content Writer at GreenDropShip.com. When she is not engaging in her passion for writing, there is a good chance that Victoria is out and about with her friends, eating peanut butter, or watching re-runs of her favorite television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.