The use of over-the-counter (OTC), non-prescription medication—known as self-medication—is a common practice in Canada and around the world. OTC medications provide a convenient way to treat minor health conditions. Their effective use can improve health outcomes and reduce pressure on the health care system, thereby increasing employee productivity and lowering health care costs.
Switching prescription medications to over the counter affects a wide range of stakeholders, making the evaluation of the potential economic impacts a fundamental concern. The Conference Board of Canada adapted a model to investigate a range of economic impacts associated with switching three drug categories from prescription (Rx) to over the counter (OTC). Find out the estimated annual economic value of Rx-to-OTC switching for proton pump inhibitors used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, oral contraceptives, and erectile dysfunction drugs, and how it would affect various groups of stakeholders.