Turning to OTCs as first line of therapy only makes cents

Just about every healthcare practitioner recommends over-the-counter medicines to their patients. And nearly 3-out-of-4 make that OTC recommendation as the first therapy option, according to a recent survey released by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. 

This is another proof point that OTC medicines play an important role in holding down cost. 

That doctor recommendation only reinforces what comes naturally to most Americans. Because use of over-the-counter medicines is prevalent among Americans, according to a recent Edelman in Health survey. And for many, it’s the first line of treatment. Overall, nearly 85% of Americans use OTCs.

As many as 69% of Americans reported that convenience was the primary driver behind their OTC purchase. But more than half (57%) noted that OTCs were less expensive than prescription medicines.

“In addition to the affordable cost and convenience of OTC medicines, consumers also value OTC medicines because they help them avoid sick days at work,” the report read. “Specifically, one-third of Americans surveyed said they have avoided taking a sick day from work in the past year because they used an OTC medication, while 88% said responsible use of OTC medications helps lower health care costs for people like me.’”

For a comprehensive look at what's happening in the OTC space, including a story on the Edelman in Health survey, check out DSN's The Business of OTC report in the March 11 issue. 

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