New report: The economic value of the over-the-counter sector

To mark International Self-Care Day, we’ve launched a groundbreaking new report detailing the economic value of the over-the-counter (OTC) sector.

The findings show that the UK OTC sector saves the NHS £6.4 billion of prescription and appointment costs each year. The report also demonstrates the value of encouraging people to take a more proactive approach to their health by widening the scope of how they self-care. These changes could save the NHS over £1.7 billion a year by eliminating 25 million unnecessary GP appointments and five million avoidable visits to A&E.

Our Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Riddalls, said:

We are delighted to have played a part in bringing to life this landmark research from Frontier Economics. The findings are truly eye-opening. 92% of the UK population, that’s 61 million people, use OTCs each year to treat self-treatable conditions, saving the NHS vast sums of money and resource. The current impacts of the OTC sector are compelling, so too are the potential benefits.

“We know that the NHS is struggling and as this report clearly demonstrates, if policymakers were to truly embrace the opportunities presented by self-care, the NHS could save an additional £3.1 billion. These vast sums could be saved through greater use of existing OTCs (£1.7 billion) combined with further reclassification of prescription only medicines (£1.4 billion).

The new research The Economic Impact of Over-The-Counter Medicines in the UK, commissioned by PAGB and undertaken independently by Frontier Economics has been published today.

Download the report

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