OTC choices based on advice, availability

At least half of consumers cite prior use (58%), in-store browsing (54%) and pharmacist’s recommendations (50%) as the most commonly reported methods used to select an OTC remedy, according to an online survey of more than 900 AccentHealth viewers conducted in September 2012. And 4-out-of-5 respondents indicated that their OTC remedies are easy to find.

Other prevalent methods used by consumers in choosing the most appropriate OTC remedy include doctor recommendation (37%), online research (36%) and recommendations from peers (34%).
If the OTC products for which they were looking were not on shelf, half would switch to another product, with 30% looking for an alternative product and 20% asking the pharmacist for an alternative solution.

“Notably, 42% [of respondents] are observed to be product loyalists and would seek the OTC out at another retailer,” said Natalie Hill,
AccentHealth VP market research. Consumers are least likely to do without the OTC remedy altogether (2%) or instead buy the remedy online (2%).

When considering the purchase of a never-before-used OTC, consumers are diligent about learning more. “Nearly three-quarters of respondents indicate they always read the instructions/insert before taking an OTC product for the first time,” Hill said. Another 19% indicated that they read the instructions/insert “most of the time,” and only 3% of consumers took their OTC medicines without ever reading the instructions.

In the Feb. 14 issue of DSN, Patient Views will look at consumer satisfaction regarding OTC usage, perceptions on safety and efficacy, and vitamin/supplement usage.

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

For the latest Patient Views, click here.


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