[Health care consumers about over-the-counter drugs]
SourceNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 158, 6, (2014), pp. A7305
Article / Letter to editor
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Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
SubjectRadboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
Dutch consumers can now purchase 'over-the-counter drugs' (OTCs) at three distribution channels: (a) the pharmacy; (b) the chemist; (c) other sales outlets such as supermarkets and petrol stations. However, little is known about whether consumers consider themselves and others to have adequate knowledge to purchase OTCs in relative freedom. During a recent study, members of the Healthcare Consumer Panel of the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research completed a survey on freely available analgesics. These consumers were very confident of their personal skills in handling OTCs responsibly. However, they had less confidence in how others would deal with OTCs. Regarding the wider availability of OTCs, only 1-8% believed it would be preferable to have these drugs available in the supermarket or petrol station, depending on the type and frequency of side effects of the medication. The government would be wise in conducting this type of qualitative study before measures are taken for wider availability of medicines.
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