Survey: Many pharmacists offer guidance on OTC purchases

WASHINGTON — The American Pharmacists Association on Monday released its 2010 Pharmacy Today over-the-counter product survey and found that 92% of pharmacists walk a patient to the OTC section to assist with a product selection, noting that the average patient consult takes only three minutes of the patient's time.

The survey also found that when a pharmacist makes an OTC brand recommendation, more than 8-in-10 consumers buy that product.

APhA's annual survey tracked the OTC products that pharmacists are recommending to their patients, as well as the interactions they are having with those patients. For example, at the height of the allergy season, pharmacists are recommending the following products in the allergy, sinus and general decongestant product categories:

  • Anti-snoring products: Breathe Right strips (80% of 510 pharmacist recommendations);

  • Adult expectorants: Mucinex/Mucinex D/Mucinex DM (75% of 1,467 pharmacist recommendations);

  • Adult topical decongestants: Afrin (66% of 669 pharmacist recommendations);

  • Adult decongestants: Sudafed (65% of 2,070 pharmacist recommendations);

  • Nasal decongestants: Saline – Ocean (54% of 1,250 pharmacist recommendations);

  • Allergy ophthalmic drops: Zaditor (36% of 1,619 pharmacist recommendations);

  • Adult multisymptom allergy and hay fever products: Claritin-D (35% of 2,406 pharmacist recommendations); and

  • Adult antihistamines: Claritin (32% of 2,717 pharmacist recommendations).

The survey, conducted in September 2010, was completed by more than 1,000 practicing community pharmacists. The results of the survey are published as a supplement to the February issue of Pharmacy Today.

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