Topical Pain Killers Market (By Therapeutic Class: Non-Opioids [NSAIDs, Capsaicin, Lidocaine, Methyl salicylate, Others], Opioids [Fentanyl, Buprenorphine]; By Type: Prescription Pain Relief, Over the Counter Relief; By Formulation: Cream, Spray, Gel, Patch, Others; By Distribution Channels: E-commerce drug stores & pharmacies, Retail & grocery stores) - Global Industry Analysis, Market Size, Opportunities and Forecast 2020 - 2027

Category : Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals | Published at : December-2020 | Delivery Format : PDF | Status: Published | Pages : 190

The market for Topical Pain Killers is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 6.24% from 2020 to 2027 and expected to reach the market value of around US$ 12,273 Mn by 2027.

Topical pain killers are medications that are directly applied to the epidermal layer of skin or at the inflammatory site. Topical pain killers are designated only for pain relief and use the skin as a medium that has an onset directly on the targeted sites through subcutaneous route of administration. Topical pain killers involve high amount of analgesics. These analgesics are incorporated in the form of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, capsaicin, anesthetics, ketamine, clonidine, cannabinoids, and opioids. Topical pain killers have the ability to dissolve directly in the bloodstream slowly and gradually keeping the blood level constant. It has achieved wide popularity over the years as it is a good alternative for the patients unable to administer orally. These are available as over-the-counter (OTC) products while others are sold by prescriptions only.

As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2016, an estimated 20.4% of the US adults (50.0 million) patient pool suffered from chronic pain. In addition, 8.0% of the US adults had suffered from high-impact chronic pain associated with advancing age. Such high prevalence of chronic pain and age associated pain was witnessed higher among women. Rise in awareness among the patients regarding the faster and sustained effect by topical pain relief medication and rising geriatric population raising the demand for topical pain relief products drives the topical pain killers market globally.

Market Dynamics

High prevalence of patient pool suffering from arthritis and bone related disorders boosts the topical pain killers market. One of the preliminary factors that are responsible for driving the market growth for topical pain killers involves selling of OTC as an alternative for the prescribed products by the physicians. As topical pain killer medicines are available in the form of OTC sold conveniently at retail outlets they have the ability to take a strong lead in the market and maintain its momentum till the forecast period.

For instance, the statistics released by Consumer Cream Product Association (CHPA), the demand for OTC medicines rise from USD 33.1 billion to USD 32.2 billion from 2018-2019. Moreover, there is a paradigm shift towards the utility of OTC medicines from the rising patient pool suffering from pain related disorders; the prescription medicines related to pain disorders have switched to affordability options for the patients. This further fuels the market growth for topical pain killers. As per the CHPA, there is a total of 2.9 billion retail trips annually to purchase OTC products.

On the other hand, 20 percent of the children aged 8 to 12 and 45 percent of those aged 13 to 14 suffer from arm pain as per the statistics released by STOP Sports Injuries. In US around 21% of traumatic brain injuries are caused due to sports and recreational activities. This further spur the demand for topical pain killers that results in driving market growth.

Sale of topical pain killers through online platforms has gained a significant attention in the overall market to grow. These have a significant effect with lucrative opportunities for the overall market to grow worldwide. However, factors such as topical pain killers causing irritated skin coupled with strong odor and unpleasant smell will restrain the market to grow.

OTC platform: Top Investment Pocket

The OTC derivatives market has grown dramatically over the years as numerous unique products are traded on OTC markets by the manufacturers. The improvement in topical formulations which can have better effect at the inflammatory sites and pharmaceutical sales improvement has grabbed huge attention in the worldwide market. This created lucrative opportunities for companies to sell medicines online. Better convenience or access to medicines greater the sales turnover can be achieved. Among the currencies for the OTC market in emerging market economies (EMEs), “renminbi-denominated contracts” were the most actively traded deal of USD 33 billion as of in April 2019 that is 0.5% of the global turnover. This is followed by Korean Won at USD 27 billion per that is 0.4%.

Segmental Analysis

The global topical pain killers market is segmented as Type, Formulation, Therapeutic class, and Distribution Channel. Based on therapeutic class, the market is bifurcated into non-opioids and opioids. The non-opioids segment is further sub-segmented into NSAIDs, capsaicin, lidocaine, methyl salicylate, among others. The opioids segment is further classified into fentanyl and buprenorphine. In 2017, non-opioids segmented acquired the largest market and is expected to continue this trend in the forthcoming years owing to high demand from the market for the prolonged effect and high availability at the stores. As NSAIDs are successful for reducing the pain by 50% or more in 6 out of 10 patients and it has high demand from the patient pool suffering from the pain. In addition, there is a high demand from the topical treatments by the athletes facing sports injury. With new product development procedures and formulation techniques, it is creating new pathway for the research and development activities.

On the basis of type, topical pain killers market is classified as prescription pain relief and over the counter (OTC) relief. Over the counter relief has grabbed highest market share in the past due to easy availability of the medicines on-stores and high demand for topical pain killers by the sports person. Formulation is segmented as cream, spray, gel, patch, and others. Cream-based topical pain killers accounted for largest sales turnover in the past and will continue to achieve high turnover in the forthcoming years owing to high success rate and lesser side effects associated with the products in the market.

Regional Landscape

Based on the regions, the regional market is segmented as Europe, North America, the Middle East & Africa, Latin America, and Asia Pacific.

Based on the regions, North America leads the global topical pain killer’s market owing to high awareness regarding the adverse effects associated with systemic administration of drugs. Rising number of people suffering from migraine and schizophrenia is anticipated to drive regional market to grow in the forecast period. Moreover, Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing regional market in the coming years owing to presence of large population awareness regarding the topical pain killer’s products in this region. 

The players profiled in the report include AdvaCare Pharma, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., Nestlé S.A., Novartis AG, Pfizer, Inc., Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Reckitt Benckiser Group plc, Topical BioMedics, Inc., Sanofi, and others.

Market Segmentation

Market By Therapeutic Class


  • NSAIDs
  • Capsaicin
  • Lidocaine
  • Methyl salicylate
  • Others


  • Fentanyl
  • Buprenorphine      

Market By Type

Prescription Pain Relief

Over the Counter Relief

Market By Formulation






Market By Distribution Channels

E-commerce drug stores & pharmacies

Retail & grocery stores

Market By Geography

North America

  • U.S.
  • Canada


  • U.K.
  • Germany
  • France
  • Spain
  • Rest of Europe


  • China
  • Japan
  • India
  • Australia
  • South Korea
  • Rest of Asia-Pacific

Latin America

  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • Rest of Latin America

Middle East & Africa

  • GCC
  • South Africa
  • Rest of Middle East & Africa

Frequently Asked Questions

The market for Topical Pain Killers is expected to reach a market value of around US$ 12,273 Mn by 2027.

The Topical Pain Killers market is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 6.24% from 2020 to 2027.

NSAIDs is the leading segment in the overall market

Rising demand from the athletes and wide availability of the medicines over the counter for topical pain killers drives the market

AdvaCare Pharma, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., Nestlé S.A., Novartis AG, Pfizer, Inc., Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Reckitt Benckiser Group plc, Topical BioMedics, Inc., Sanofi

North America is anticipated to grab the highest market share in the regional market

Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing market in the forthcoming years

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