“The OTC (over-the-counter) medicines market has grown in the last few years: in 2013, it grew 17% compared to 2012. More than 20 thousand new pharmacies opened in Brazil that year, an 18% growth from 2012-13. Consumers who buy products in pharmacies prioritize price when deciding where to shop. Most consumers associate pharmacies with medicines, but this is likely to change as these channels are increasingly starting to sell beauty, personal hygiene, and convenience products.”
– Juliana Martins, Beauty and Personal Care Analyst


This report covers the pharmacy retailing market in Brazil.

  • Market size is based on sales of OTC medicines in all retail channels, including direct sales to consumers. This includes analgesics (painkillers) and antipyretic drugs (to prevent or reduce fever).

  • Anti-cough/cold/flu products: decongestants and flu medicine

  • Dermatological products: skincare products, dermatological creams and antipsorics (anti-skin irritation)

  • Gastrointestinal products: antinauseants/stomach and diarrhea/laxative medicines

  • Vitamins and minerals (not including supplements)

In addition, other products commonly sold in pharmacy retailers were included in the consumer research, but are not in the market data:

  • Health devices (eg inhalers, humidifiers)

  • Ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages (eg juice, water, isotonic drinks)

  • Confectionery

  • Children’s products other than medicines (eg diapers, children’s hygiene products)

  • Beauty products in general (eg makeup)

  • Sunscreen lotion

  • Personal hygiene products (eg shampoo, soap, deodorant)

  • Prescription medicines


Abrafarma Brazilian Association of Pharmacies and Drugstores
Anvisa Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency
Cofins Contribution for the Financing of Social Security
IBGE Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics
MUSAS United Women for Healthy Attitudes
OTC Over-the-counter
WHO World Health Organization
PIS Social Integration Program
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