Since 1997, Pharmacy Times has been calculating pharmacists’ OTC recommendations and publishing its annual survey. The purpose of the survey is to collect data regarding which OTC brands pharmacists recommended most frequently and how many recommendations pharmacists make per month.
Pharmacists across the country make more than 80 million recommendations to their patients every month, and more often than not, patients will follow these recommendations. Pharmacists are the most accessible, and among the most trusted, health care providers, and they play a key role in patients’ health with their recommendations.
Our first survey in 1997 included a total of 85 therapeutic categories; this year, we surveyed a total of 148 categories. As the OTC market has grown, Pharmacy Times has responded accordingly by adding new therapeutic areas to the survey. As new categories develop and the OTC marketplace continues to evolve, Pharmacy Times will concurrently expand its survey.
In addition to the survey results, we have put together a number of features and a host of fast facts related to OTC prod-ucts. For example, this issue includes a look at the many uses of aspirin, the ever-expanding role of the pharmacist in rec-ommending appropriate OTC treatments, and helpful hints pharmacists can use when helping smokers quit or finding the appropriate remedy for a patient with heartburn.
This year, the OTC Products Survey features an appealing new design and some structural changes that will hopefully further improve its utility. The guide is now organized by overall medication category, such as Cough/Cold/Flu or Skin Care. We hope this categorization will make it easier for you to find the products most often recommended by you and your col-leagues. Also new to the guide this year is a dynamic and interactive Web site (www.otcguide.net) that is searchable by category and by product name. Our vision is that this site will ultimately prove to be a valuable resource for both pharmacists and patients, who certainly have a keen interest in the products you recommend most often.
Thank you to the thousands of pharmacists who contributed their input to the successful outcome of this survey. We hope you will share your feedback on how to continue to enhance this resource in future years, and that our OTC Survey of Pharmacist Recommendations is a useful resource in your ongoing efforts to improve the health of your patients.
The Pharmacy Times Team