OTC OPPORTUNITIES

Author: Fred M. Eckel, RPh, MS, Pharmacy Times Editor-in-Chief

My position as Editor-in-Chief of Pharmacy Times gives me opportunities to speak about items of concern to consumers and pharmacists. I was asked to be a spokesman on OTC drugs. As background for this role, the company had a Harris Interactive poll conducted on key purchasing habits of OTC medicines using 2000 US adults divided almost equally between men and women. Let me share some results that should interest most pharmacists.

It would seem like pharmacists have an opportunity to play a more important role in recommending OTC products. As more products are switched from prescription status to OTC, pharmacists' opportunity will be even greater. One chain has announced that they will be reorganizing their OTC sections to make them more consumer friendly and also placing a pharmacist in the section to answer questions. This company seems to realize the opportunity that OTC's represent. How are you preparing for this opportunity to assist the growing number of customers who are interested in self-care?