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CHPA, Nielsen: OTC Heartburn Therapy Saves Nearly $800 Million Annually, Vast Majority of OTC Heartburn Consumers Satisfied
Date:1/26/2009

New Research Illustrates Strong Health and Economic Benefits of OTC Heartburn Remedies

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New research from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) and The Nielsen Company indicates 94 percent patient satisfaction with available over-the-counter (OTC) heartburn medications and estimates that OTC therapy saves patients an average total of $174 each in office visits and medication costs annually. In addition, CHPA and Nielsen attribute $757 million in annual savings to the U.S. healthcare system based on fewer office visits -- all good news for millions(1) of Americans who suffer from heartburn as well as an overburdened healthcare system.

"This is wonderful news for consumers. This study points to a high level of satisfaction plus costs savings among those who turn to OTC heartburn medicines for symptom relief," said Linda Suydam, president, CHPA. "The overall findings reflect the evolution of heartburn treatments as the availability of effective over-the-counter treatment options have expanded over the past 15 years."

"The savings these OTC medicines provide to the U.S. healthcare system are equally significant," said Jim Mansfield, The Nielsen Company and one of the study's authors. "Ongoing research into health outcomes and the cost of lost work time and misdiagnosis holds the potential to identify additional -- yet substantial -- savings."

CHPA and Nielsen's research also finds that more than half (61 percent) of consumers surveyed treat heartburn without discussing symptoms with a healthcare provider, and notes the importance of consumer education to safe and effective treatment.

"As with any OTC medication, consumers should read the label and follow directions closely to understand what the medicine is used for, to ensure appropriate dosing, and to avoid dangerous drug interactions," noted Janet P. Engle, Ph
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SOURCE Consumer Healthcare Products Association; The Nielsen Company
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