Value of Consumer Health Products: The Impact of Switching Prescription Medications to Over-the-Counter

The Conference Board of Canada, 82 pages, March 9, 2017
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This report examines the economic impact of switching three categories of drugs from prescription to over the counter, and the impact on stakeholders including private insurers, individuals, employers, and the health care system.

Document Highlights

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.

Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Chapter 1–Introduction

  • Research Goals
  • Modelling the Economic Impact of Switching
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors
  • Oral Contraceptives
  • Drugs for Erectile Dysfunction

Chapter 2–Methodology

  • Economic Model
  • Data Sources
  • Study Population

Chapter 3–Economic Impact of Switching PPIs to Treat GERD

  • First Impact: Health Care System Utilization
  • Second Impact: Medication Purchase and Cost Burden
  • Third Impact: Treatment and Labour Productivity
  • Net Impact of Rx-to-OTC Switching of PPIs to Treat GERD

Chapter 4–Economic Impact of Switching Oral Contraceptives

  • First Impact: Health Care System Use
  • Second Impact: Medication Purchase and Cost Burden
  • Net Impact of Rx-to-OTC Switching for Oral Contraceptives

Chapter 5–Economic Impact of Switching Erectile Dysfunction Drugs

  • First Impact: Health Care System Utilization
  • Second Impact: Medication Purchase and Cost Burden
  • Net Impact of Rx-to-OTC Switching of ED Drugs

Chapter 6–Conclusion

  • Implications and Next Steps

Appendix A–Bibliography

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