Industry fails to capitalise on the rise of OTC medicine

New research into attitudes towards health and over-the-counter (OTC) medicine sounds a warning for marketers of medicine and pharmacy brands.

Entitled A Picture of Health, the research was conducted by Reader’s Digest in association with the Proprietary Association of Great Britain (PAGB). It shows that 96 per cent of people say they should be responsible for their own health and that 59 per cent prefer to treat minor ailments themselves. Yet only eight per cent of people say they regularly rely on the pharmacists for information or help with diagnosis.

The report also shows that while consumers have been empowered to self-medicate by developments such as NHS Direct and the explosion of interest in health in the media, a large number maintain that they are overwhelmed by the quantity of information available.

According to Suzanne Lugthart, head of research at Reader’s Digest, the report shows that marketers are not doing enough to inform consumers in easily digestible ways and therefore encourage sales of their brands.

A significant 24 per cent of respondents claim that if they had better knowledge about everyday ailments and products, they would be more inclined to treat themselves, she says. Also, 61 per cent say they use the Net to research ailments and cures.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here