Pharmacy Times has been tabulating pharmacists' recommendations and publishing its Survey of Pharmacists Recommendations for 12 years. Pharmacy Times began collecting data in 1997 regarding which OTC brands pharmacists recommended most frequently and how many recommendations pharmacists made per month?invaluable data for the OTC marketplace.
Why are these data so valuable? Pharmacists make more than 80 million recommendations to their patients every month, and more often than not, patients will follow these recommendations. In the Cough and Cold category alone, including adult and pediatric formulations, pharmacists make more than 15 million recommendations every month. As the most accessible health care provider, pharmacists play a key role in patients' health and have the opportunity to recommend OTC products to their patients on a daily basis.
Initially, we surveyed pharmacists' recommendations in a total of 85 therapeutic categories; we are proud to announce that the Survey of Pharmacists Recommendations has greatly expanded over the past 12 years and, this year, we surveyed a total of 142 categories. The survey has 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 status. 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 Zyrtec, Pepcid, Prilosec, and Claritin, which are all now available, in some form, over the counter. As new categories develop and the OTC marketplace continues to evolve, Pharmacy Times will concurrently expand its Survey of Pharmacist Recommendations.
Thank you to the many pharmacists who contributed their input to the successful outcome of this survey.