News - 27 January 2023

Rapid growth in over-the-counter (OTC) product trade on the Internet

In the years 2017-2022, the market for online trade of OTC products (non-prescription drugs, dietary supplements, and dermocosmetics) grew at a rate of 23% annually, taking into account nominal dynamics. According to our forecasts, its value will reach 2.8 billion PLN in net prices by 2023. This amount includes sales of the mentioned products in pharmacies, online stores, and trading platforms (drugs can only be sold in online pharmacies).

Additional patients accelerate real growth, and inflation increases nominal dynamics

In recent years, the Polish market for online OTC products has grown dynamically, supported by increasing Polish salaries, resulting in higher disposable income, as well as the growing popularity of the internet as a shopping channel. In 2020, an additional impulse for online shopping was the COVID-19 pandemic: at that time, online shopping in some cases replaced shopping in physical stores, which were forcibly closed.

According to PMR calculations, the dynamics of the online OTC product market increased again in 2022, influenced the most by high inflation. Another positive factor was, and will be in the coming years, the presence of approximately 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine in Poland (on average), who will support real market growth, especially in the purchase of OTC drugs.
Monika Stefańczyk
Report author


Find comprehensive information about the current state of the Polish online OTC products market in the PMR report:


Online OTC products market in Poland. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2023-2028. Impact of inflation and war in Ukraine.

Maturing OTC e-commerce market

In 2023, the nominal dynamics of the market will still be double-digit, still supported by high inflation. It is worth noting that the market for online sales of OTC products will grow at a similar pace to the entire e-commerce market in Poland. In previous years, it developed slightly faster than the entire online trade market. This was due to the later start of the trend of online purchases of OTC drugs compared to other products purchased online. In the coming years, we will be dealing with a more mature OTC online market.


The macroeconomic environment will not be favorable for the development of the market for online trade of OTC products in the years 2023-2024. Only from 2025 onwards, it will moderately support the development of this market. However, one factor that will increase our healthcare expenses is the so-called “health debt” that emerged in the years 2020-2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to limited access to medical services during this period, many patients neglected their ailments, resulting in higher costs of treatment, including medical and pharmaceutical products, from 2022 onwards. The aging of the population is also not insignificant, which increases the population of people complaining of various ailments, who are increasingly able to make purchases online.

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Agnieszka Skonieczna

Market Analyst Director