Consumers need clear and understandable information about self-care products, says George Dokios, director general of the Greek OTC industry association EFEX
The Greek OTC industry has produced a Self-Care Manifesto that sets out the actions needed to encourage greater self-care in the country.
The move comes at a time of change in the Greek OTC market. Price controls on non-prescription medicines will be lifted in January 2017, and the Greek government recently announced plans to allow some non-prescription medicines to go on general sale outside pharmacies for the first time.
Set against this background, EFEX is urging the government to take action to create the right environment for self-care to flourish.
George Dokios, director general of EFEX, said the Self-Care Manifesto called on the government and regulatory authorities to "simplify procedures for approving OTC medicines". The manifesto also highlighted the importance of "adopting clear time criteria", added Dokios.
Speaking at the recent 52nd Annual Meeting of the Association of the European Self-Medication Industry (AESGP) in Athens, Greece, Dokios said the manifesto stressed the importance of providing consumers with "clear and understandable information" and supporting pharmacists with "continuous educational programmes". Furthermore, the manifesto called for pharmacy training programmes at universities to be reviewed.
Dokios maintained that all stakeholders should "engage actively in promoting the effectiveness of self-care".
Serious financial crisis
Noting that Greece was experiencing a serious financial crisis, Dokios said government measures had produced a 60% decline in value terms in the country's pharmaceutical market between 2009 and 2015. He said this was "unprecedented".
By contrast, added Dokios, the Greek OTC market had increased by 31% in value terms between 2010 and 2015. Furthermore, the OTC market as a proportion of the total pharmaceutical market had increased from 5% in 2010 to 12% in 2015.
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