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Contraceptive Drugs Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Product (Oral (Combined Contraceptives, and Progestin-only Pills), Injectable, and Patches); By Distribution Channel (Hospital Pharmacy, Retail Pharmacy, Clinics, Online Channel, Public Channel & NGOs, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI100063



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The global contraceptive drugs market size was USD 13.01 billion in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 was unprecedented and staggering, with the market witnessing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a substandard growth of -9.8% in 2020 compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The market is expected to grow from USD 12.55 billion in 2021 to USD 18.37 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 5.6% in the 2021-2028 period. The sudden rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over

An ever-increasing concern regarding the rapidly increasing population globally is leading to an increasing focus on educating the general population towards available methods of contraception. Different methods of contraception are available and followed by various communities around the world. Among all the available methods, oral pills are widely used as hormonal combinations, including estrogen and progestin or progestin alone.

The increasing focus of leading market players and healthcare agencies towards creating awareness through public programs to expand access to contraception methods is the primary factor augmenting the growth of the global market.

  • For instance, in January 2017, HRA Pharma, a European pharmaceutical company, announced a partnership with Ibis Reproductive Health, a non-profit organization working to improve women’s reproductive autonomy to introduce over-the-counter drugs in the U.S. market. 

This has been pivotal in increasing awareness among the general population, especially in emerging countries, towards the adoption of contraception and available products and methods. This is further boosted by introducing over-the-counter drugs and other products by domestic and global players, facilitating the use of these drugs globally.

Outbreak of COVID-19 Hampered the Growth of the Market 

The emergence of COVID-19 has hindered the demand for contraceptives across the world. Key players operating in the market recorded a significant decline in their revenues from the sales of these drugs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • For instance, Bayer AG registered USD 797.3 million in revenues in the contraceptive segment in 2020 compared to USD 810.4 million in 2019, a decline of 1.6% during 2019-2020.

  • Moreover, AbbVie Inc. recorded a decline in revenues of USD 246.7 million from the sales of these drugs in 2020 compared to the revenues generated in 2019. The company generated a revenue of USD 356.0 million in 2020 compared to USD 602.7 million in 2019.

The significant decline in revenues generated from the sales of contraception medicines was attributed to several factors, including supply chain disruption. There is a considerable impact on family planning programs provided by primary health centers, especially in emerging countries, due to the shift of healthcare resources for the management of COVID-19 patients.

Therefore, the disruption in manufacturing activities and supply chain and the negative impact on family planning programs are responsible for the negative growth rate of the market in the financial year 2020.


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Shift from Conventional to Modern Contraceptive Methods to Support the Market Growth

Technological advancements and the rising adoption of modern methods of contraception are playing a crucial role in the growth of the market. Moreover, the government in developing countries and NGOs promotes the use of modern products for contraception, such as oral pills, injectable and topical drugs.

Consumers in developing countries are shifting from traditional to modern methods. Conventional drugs and procedures offer limited protection against sexually transmitted diseases and have a higher failure rate than modern methods. Thus, this leads to the increasing adoption of modern techniques such as sterilization, pills, and other products among the general population.

  • According to the data published by United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, a total of 1.9 billion women of reproductive age (15-49 years) are present across the world. Around 842 million women now use modern contraception methods, including oral drugs and injectable, and approximately 80 million consumers were using traditional methods.

This indicates the growing preference of consumers towards modern methods, including drugs, which is anticipated to drive the demand and adoption of these drugs during the forecast period.


Growing Focus on Contraceptive Drugs’ Awareness to Propel Product Demand

There is a rising focus of non-profit organizations, and regional and national healthcare agencies, towards improving women’s health and sexual wellness. Through various campaigns and public awareness programs, these organizations promote the use of contraception techniques and create awareness among the general population towards various contraception methods, including growing preference towards these drugs.

This, along with an increasing number of products being introduced in the market by leading global and domestic players, is supporting the market growth.

Moreover, the government agencies in developing countries promote the usage and adoption of these drugs to control the population and unwanted pregnancies in the adult population.

  • For instance, in December 2020, the government of Ireland announced a plan to introduce free contraception to women aged between 17 and 25.

  • Additionally, in July 2018, the Government of the United States announced an expansion of exemptions to an Affordable Care Act rule requiring employers to include birth control coverage in health plans.

This, along with the increasing childbearing population and rising adoption of these products in developing countries, creates a significant demand for these products such as oral pills, injectables, and patches across the world. Moreover, the rising insurance coverage and introduction of over-the-counter medicines are also anticipated to support the growth of the market in the near future.


Side Effects Associated with Drugs to Restrict Market Growth

The long-term use of birth control medications is associated with side effects such as bleeding, headaches, nausea, weight gain. Several research studies have been published to highlight the long-term side effects related to birth control drugs.

  • For instance, according to the study published by the American Cancer Society (ACS), long-term consumption of birth control pills increases breast and cervical cancer risk. Long-term usage refers to the consumption of birth control pills for ten or more than ten years

  • Moreover, progesterone and estrogen-based drugs are linked with increasing the risk of developing a blood clot which may cause stroke and heart attack.

Moreover, the lack of awareness and social taboo about contraception methods and other methods is accountable for the lower adoption of these products in developing countries. This, along with the high cost of these products, is responsible for restraining the market growth.


By Product Analysis

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Growing Adoption of Oral Drugs has enabled the Dominance of the Segment

Based on product, the global market is segmented into oral, injectable, and patches. The oral segment is further categorized into combined contraceptives and progestin-only pills. The oral segment accounted for the highest share in the market, driven by higher adoption of oral drugs in developed and developing countries across the globe.

There is a gradual increase in demand and adoption of oral drugs, especially in emerging countries. This is due to the clinical benefits of oral medicines over other traditional methods and the comparatively lower cost of these products over other modern methods of contraception.

  • According to the United Nations, the number of women of reproductive age consuming birth control pills increased from around 97 million in 1994 to 151 million in 2019.

Higher preference towards oral drugs, especially in countries such as China, and India, is primarily responsible for the dominant share of the segment in 2020. This, along with the introduction of over-the-counter oral drugs in developing countries, is projected to boost market growth during the forecast period.

On the other hand, the injectable segment held the second largest contraceptive drugs market share during the forecast period. The comparatively lower annual cost of injectable products compared to drugs and pills leads to higher demand for injectable products.

By Distribution Channel Analysis

Increasing Preference of Customers towards Over-the-Counter Drugs has enabled the Dominance of Retail Segment

The global market is categorized into hospital pharmacy, retail pharmacy, clinics, online channel, public channel & NGOs, and others based on distribution channels.

The retail pharmacy segment dominated the global market in 2020. The dominance of the retail pharmacy segment is attributed to the growing demand for contraception drugs among the general population with the increasing awareness about various contraception methods. Several countries, including Brazil, Mexico, China, and India, allow birth control pills to be sold over the counter. This has led to a higher preference of consumers towards retail pharmacies for procuring birth control pills. Moreover, favorable regulatory policies are also responsible for the growth of the retail distribution channel.

  • For instance, according to the report published by the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA), more than 15 jurisdictions and States in the U.S. have allowed pharmacists to prescribe and provide drugs and other products for contraception.

On the other hand, the online distribution channel segment is expected to record a higher CAGR than the other subsegments. The higher growth of online channels is attributed to the rising adoption of over-the-counter solutions combined with various online offers and discounts to attract customers.


North America Contraceptive Drugs Market Size, 2020 (USD billion)

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The contraceptive drugs market size in North America registered USD 6.56 billion in 2020. The high awareness about birth control pills in the North American population combined with the growing childbearing women population and fertility rate in the region are some of the major factors responsible for the dominance of North America in 2020.

  • According to a report published by United Nations, the adoption of contraceptives is higher in North America. Among the total population of women aged 15-49 years in the U.S., around 62% use some form of contraception, more than 13% of these women use oral drugs.

Europe held the second-largest market share in the global market. This is attributed to the growing childbearing population in European countries and strong reimbursement policies regarding contraceptives. Moreover, the increasing adoption of contraceptive pills and injectable in the majority of the European countries is also supporting market growth.

  • According to the report published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, In Europe, the reproductive-age women population was more than 163 million in 2019. In this category, more than 56% of women use some form of contraception.  

On the other hand, Asia Pacific is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The increasing government initiatives to expand access to contraceptives and surge in awareness about pills drive the increasing demand for these drugs. Moreover, the growing emphasis on family planning with the rise in cases of unintended pregnancy is influencing the market for birth control pills, including contraceptive drugs.

  • According to the article published by Indiaspend in 2017, nearly half of the 48.1 million pregnancies in India each year are unintended. The rising cases of unintended pregnancies are responsible for the increasing adoption of different methods of contraception, including drugs, patches, and injectable products, to avoid unwanted pregnancies.

Latin America and the Middle East & Africa regions accounted for a comparatively lower share in the global market. However, the increasing focus on strengthening reproductive health and family planning services and rising awareness about various methods of contraception in these regions are anticipated to drive the market growth during the forecast period.


Robust Distribution Network, Robust Portfolio, and New Product Launches Help Key Players Lead the Global Market

The global market is fragmented, with the presence of few international players along with a large number of domestic generic drug manufacturers. The major players operating in the market focus on research and development and strategic collaborations to gain a competitive advantage over other players.

  • For instance, in January 2020, Bayer AG announced a license agreement with Daré Bioscience, Inc., to commercialize Daré’s investigational product in the U.S. market after its approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

The market fragmented with the introduction of generics, and prominent market share is captured by companies offering generic products. Other companies such as Piramal Enterprises Ltd., Viatris Inc., Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and other generic leaders capture the market share. These generic manufacturers are focusing on regulatory approvals for new generic drugs to diversify the product line.


  • Piramal Enterprises Ltd. (Mumbai, India)

  • Agile Therapeutics (New Jersey, U.S.)

  • Janssen Global Services, LLC (Raritan, New Jersey, U.S.)

  • AbbVie Inc. (Lake Bluff, U.S.)

  • Pfizer Inc. (New York, U.S.)

  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Petah Tikva, Israel)

  • Viatris Inc. (Canonsburg, U.S.)

  • Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Bridgewater Township, U.S.)

  • Bayer AG (Leverkusen, Germany)

  • Other Prominent Players


  • May 2020 - Abbvie Inc. completed the acquisition of Allergan to strengthen its position as a strong leader in many therapeutic categories.

  • September 2020 - Bayer AG announced the completion of its acquisition of KaNDy Therapeutics Ltd., intending to enhance its drug development pipeline in the women healthcare division.


An Infographic Representation of Contraceptive Drugs Market

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The contraceptive drugs market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, products, and distribution channels. Besides this, it offers insights into the key market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the market's growth over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD billion)


Product, Distribution Channel, and Region

By Product

  • Oral

    • Combined Contraceptives

    • Progestin-only Pills

  • Injectable

  • Patches

By Distribution Channel


  • Hospital Pharmacy

  • Retail Pharmacy

  • Clinics

  • Online Channel

  • Public Channel & NGOs

  • Others

By Geography

  • North America (U.S. and Canada)

  • Europe (U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, and the Rest of Europe)

  • Asia-Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia, Southeast Asia, and the Rest of Asia- Pacific)

  • Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, Rest of Latin America)

  • Middle East & Africa (GCC, South Africa, Rest of the Middle East & Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size stood at USD 13.01 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 18.37 billion by 2028.

In 2020, the market size in North America was USD 6.56 billion.

The market will exhibit steady growth at a CAGR of 5.6% during the forecast period (2021-2028).

By product, the oral segment will lead the market.

Increasing focus on creating awareness through public programs, growing insurance coverage, the introduction of OTC contraceptive products, and rising emphasis on avoiding unplanned pregnancies creating are the key drivers of the market.

Janssen Global Services, LLC, AbbVie Inc., and Pfizer Inc. are the top players in the market.

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