Over-the-counter (OTC), or nonprescription, medicines and medical devices are products that consumers can purchase in pharmacies, supermarkets and other retail stores as well as online without a prescription. OTC medicines are deemed safe and effective treatments by the European Medicine Agency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other health authorities around the world. These medicines treat common, self-treatable health conditions and symptoms such as the common cold, minor pain, allergies, and other conditions that impact large segments of the population. OTC medicines are a critical component in advancing consumer health because they allow people to treat or manage many health conditions conveniently and successfully. Because they enable people to self-treat, OTC medicines save health systems valuable resources and can save consumers time and money. While OTC medicines are an important part of the care continuum, a healthcare professional’s advice should always be sought for serious conditions, or when common ailments persist. OTC medicines have played a significant role in expanded access to safe and effective treatments in developing regions of the world. Many people in these regions do not have access to health services and rely heavily on self-care and self-medication, and OTC medications provide valuable resources to address health conditions. OTC medicines provide consumers safe and effective treatments for commonly occurring conditions, saving them time and money that might otherwise be invested in other, more expensive health services.