Consumers using more OTCs for cost savings

As many as 26% of consumers increased their usage of over-the-counter products in the past year, according to an online survey of more than 900 AccentHealth viewers conducted in September. Anticipated increases in OTC use for the upcoming year are driven by those who have already reported a rise in usage in the past year.

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The lower cost of OTCs was cited as the primary reason viewers have increased and plan to increase their OTC usage. 

“Year over year, viewers appear to be getting more cost-conscious,” said Natalie Hill, Accent-Health VP market research, noting that 39% of viewers suggested that lower costs associated with OTC medicines would drive increased usage in the coming year, as compared with 29% who cited cost as the main driver behind increased OTC use in the past year. 

One-in-5 respondents expect any increase in OTC usage will be related to aging. Consumers younger than 55 years were the drivers behind increased OTC usage through 2012. Insurance coverage is another significant factor that is driving increased OTC utilization — 67% of respondents switched to an OTC once insurance coverage was suspended for a prescription formulation. 

In the Jan. 14 issue of DSN, Patient Views will look at how consumers choose OTC products and the influencers that shape those decisions.

Patient Views is a new, exclusive consumer insights feature that appears in every edition of DSN magazine and in the daily e-newsletter DSN A.M. If you could ask 4,000 patients anything, what would it be? Send your questions to

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