Havas Life Sorento, a health agency of Havas Group India, recently submitted a study, Value of OTC to India, and the Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI). The study aimed to clarify the health benefits of using OTC antidepressant medications, taking into account the growing value of consumer self-care practices, and highlighting the economic benefits of self-medication compared to the costs incurred by health professionals (HCPs).
Many countries around the world have recognized the economic importance of OTC. According to the Health Economic Benefits of Self-Care in Europe (2020), it is estimated that moving even 5% of prescription drugs to a non-provided condition, could result in a total annual savings which are higher than16 billion.
According to a study of the ‘OTC Vaccine Value in the Brazilian Public Health System’, it was found that the proper use of OTC medications can reduce up to 21% of the volume of medical attendance in emergencies. Like these countries, India could also benefit greatly from OTC drug availability in terms of economic benefits, as well as improved overall health outcomes.
Rana Barua, the Group CEO, of Havas Group India, said, “At Havas Group India, we believe in Making Important Differences for consumers to live with purposeful work, discussions, and plans. The OTC value in India Study by Havas Life Sorento and OPPI is very different considering that there is no such study that measures the economic benefits of self-treatment in India.
“Going forward, we plan to introduce relevant courses that will help assess the various implications of health care and make informed decisions,” said Barual. Susan Josi, Managing Director – HHY South-East Asia and the Middle East, says the fact that consumers can benefit more from self-medication than the HCP spending on treating minor ailments, proves the potential of the OTC-approved environment in India. At the same time, we need to acknowledge the unwavering trust placed in HCP’s self-healing message over time.
“Rx-to-OTC advertising switches can be a key driver in this situation as it creates a win-win situation for all participants, given the familiarity and reliability of such products. The study also emphasizes that it is time to reconsider the role of a pharmacist, who can be a part of driving self-care, and authorized consumers who can make informed decisions, “added Josi.