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Source: Booz & Co., Jan. 2012

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Source: Booz & Co., Jan. 2012

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Source: Booz & Co., Jan. 2012

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Source: Lipsky, Northwestern University, 2004

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For millions of Americans, over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are an affordable way to get well, stay well, and feel well. They contribute to the affordability of healthcare as a whole thanks to their availability without a prescription, helping to reduce unnecessary medical visits and the burden on physicians. They also help to save Americans the time and cost of doctor visits and prescription co-pays, while providing safe and effective treatment for many minor ailments.

Preventing unnecessary strains on the nation’s healthcare system is a goal we all share, and OTC medicines play an important role in advancing that objective by eliminating the cost and time involved with unnecessary physician appointments related to minor injuries and ailments, including the common cold, fever, and allergies. OTC heartburn medicine is another good example. A study of more than 17,000 heartburn sufferers estimated that if these individuals were not taking OTC heartburn medicines, we would see an increase of six million heartburn-related doctor office visits each year. Smart use of OTC medicines allows the medical community to better focus its resources on the diagnosis and treatment of serious diseases, new research, and innovative services, and ensures the availability of cost-effective treatment options that benefit individuals, families, and our healthcare system as a whole.  

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