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Pharmacists Encourage Patients To Seek Their Guidance When Choosing OTC Medications

Eighty-three percent of Patients Select OTC Products Recommended by Their Pharmacist

Washington, D.C. (Vocus) February 25, 2009 -- According to the most recent Pharmacy Today Over-the-Counter Product Survey conducted by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), pharmacists believe that 83 percent of consumers purchase over-the-counter products that were recommended by their pharmacist. With more than 100,000 nonprescription medications on the market and more than 1,000 active ingredients, it's critical that patients consult their pharmacist to maximize the benefits from medications and minimize the potential for harmful drug interaction and/or side effects.

The survey, completed by nearly 1,000 APhA member and non-member pharmacists, also reveals that on average pharmacists counsel 31 patients per week about over the counter medications. Patients who seek their pharmacist's advice include patients suffering from an acute or chronic condition (92 percent), patients that are worried about using an OTC product with other prescription medications (84 percent), and patients worried about taking OTC products with a specific disease/condition (74 percent).

"Pharmacists are the only health professionals specifically trained in nonprescription medications," said John A. Gans, APhA's Chief Executive Officer. "Patients can take an active role in self care by reading medication labels, knowing the active ingredients in their medications, and asking their pharmacist questions."

One of APhA's goal in conducting the annual Pharmacy Today Over-the-Counter Product Survey is to educate consumers that pharmacists have the knowledge and training to help them select right OTC medications. As part of the survey, pharmacists are asked to tabulate the OTC products they recommend per week in 77 different product categories. The results of the survey are published as a supplement to the February issue of Pharmacy Today. Click here to view the entire Pharmacy Today Over-the-Counter Supplement.

As the medication experts, pharmacists are trained in both prescription and over-the-counter medications and can provide patients with important information about how medications may interact with certain foods, other medicines or dietary supplements. Pharmacists are the most accessible health care providers and APhA encourages patients to actively seek their advice about the proper use of medications.

About the American Pharmacists Association (APhA)
The American Pharmacists Association, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, represents more than 62,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and others interested in advancing the profession. APhA, dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care, is the first-established and largest association of pharmacists in the United States. APhA members provide care in all practice settings, including community pharmacies, health systems, long-term care facilities, managed care organizations, hospice settings, and the uniformed services.


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