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Industry News

A new national survey of U.S. adults has found that 72% of Americans believed there is not much they can do about a cold except mask the symptoms and wait it out. In fact, one-third of cold sufferers admitted they wait until they feel miserable before taking medications that can help.

According to another survey of U.S. pharmacists, this consumer belief is in direct contrast to what the majority of U.S. pharmacists believe—93% of pharmacists reported that early treatment of a cold actually can prevent a trip to the doctor’s office, and 84% of pharmacists believed consumers often make poor choices about the best treatments for their colds.

Both surveys were commissioned by Matrixx Initiatives.

Spurred by a difficult economy, over-the-counter medications increasingly are playing a dual role for consumers looking to minimize healthcare expenditures, SymphonyIRI Group found in a new research paper titled “Over-the-Counter Medications: State of the Industry 2010.”

This has prompted greater interest in self-care—more than one-third of consumers today are visiting the doctor less frequently and self-treating to save on medical expenses. Nearly all of these consumers (88%) will continue to do so even as the economy improves, SymphonyIRI found.

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