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Pharmacy 2018, 6(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy6020052

Over-The-Counter (OTC) Drug Consumption among Adults Living in Germany: Results from the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults 2008–2011 (DEGS1)

1
Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology—BIPS, Achterstraße 30, 28359 Bremen, Germany
2
Department of Epidemiology and Health Monitoring, Robert Koch-Institute, General-Pape-Straße 62-66, 12101 Berlin, Germany
3
Core Scientific Area ‘Health Sciences’ at the University of Bremen, Grazer Str. 2, 28334 Bremen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 April 2018 / Revised: 4 June 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 7 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Standing of OTC Medicines in Community Practice)
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Abstract

In order to assess the effects of prescription-only (Rx) to over-the-counter (OTC) drug switches and related policies, it is imperative to distinguish self-medication from OTC drug use. The objective of this study was to estimate the OTC drug use in the adult population in Germany, to identify its predictors and to highlight methodological differences when compared to the study of a self-medication prevalence. Seven-day prevalence of OTC drug use was calculated on the basis of information provided by 7091 participants of the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults (DEGS1) conducted between 2008 to 2011. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify predictors of OTC drug use. Seven-day prevalence of OTC drug use was higher in women (47.16%) than in men (33.17%). Female gender, an age of more than 60 years, reduced health status, Rx drug use, and multi-morbidity were identified as predictors of OTC drug use. The levels of OTC drug use were higher than the self-medication prevalence found in the same data set probably because some OTC drugs are commonly prescribed by physicians. Drug utilization studies should, therefore, make a methodological distinction between self-medication and OTC drug use depending on whether the focus is on drug safety or the impact of regulatory decisions on the trade status. View Full-Text
Keywords: non-prescription medicines; OTC drugs; self-medication; drug utilization studies; Germany; DEGS1; epidemiology; pharmaceutical public health non-prescription medicines; OTC drugs; self-medication; drug utilization studies; Germany; DEGS1; epidemiology; pharmaceutical public health
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Barrenberg, E.; Knopf, H.; Garbe, E. Over-The-Counter (OTC) Drug Consumption among Adults Living in Germany: Results from the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults 2008–2011 (DEGS1). Pharmacy 2018, 6, 52.

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