This year, Pharmacy Times celebrates 10 years of publishing its Survey of Pharmacist Recommendations. In 1997, Pharmacy Times began surveying pharmacists to gather data about which OTC brands pharmacists recommended most frequently and how many recommendations pharmacists made per month. For example, in the Cough and Cold category alone, including adult and pediatric formulations, pharmacists make more than 15 million recommendations every month. More often than not, patients will follow their pharmacists' recommendations. Initially, we surveyed pharmacists' recommendations in a total of 85 therapeutic categories. We are pleased that the Survey of Pharmacist Recommendations has greatly expanded over the past 10 years, and our 2006 survey features a total of 130 categories.
Over the past 10 years, the survey has been expanded from the traditional OTC categories, such as Cough and Cold and Analgesics, to include new subcategories, new products, and products that have switched from Rx to OTC. As the OTC market has grown, Pharmacy Times has responded accordingly by adding new therapeutic areas to the survey. The past decade saw several "blockbuster" drugs switch from prescription to OTC status. Some examples include Pepcid, Prilosec, and Claritin, which are all now available, in some form, over the counter. A number of categories have seen substantial growth in recent years, including Eye Care, Nail Care, Foot Care, Dry Mouth, and Hearing. As new categories develop and the OTC marketplace continues to evolve, Pharmacy Times will concurrently develop and expand its Survey of Pharmacist Recommendations.