Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2022; 26 (13): 4798-4808

DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202207_29205

Over-the-counter (OTC) drug advertising: informative or harmful? – Analysis based on Polish research

I. Radlińska, E. Kemicer-Chmielewska, M. Kożybska, K. Flaga-Gieruszyńska, B. Karkiewicz

Department of Social Medicine, Subdepartment of Medical Law, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Szczecin, Poland. marta.kozybska@pum.edu.pl


OBJECTIVE: Drug sales in Poland have been growing for several years, and the rapid increase in the purchase of OTC drugs can be linked to various advertising measures taken by drug manufacturers. The aim of the study was to assess the effect of over-the-counter drug advertising (OTCA) on preferences and attitudes.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: An online survey involving 833 residents was conducted in Poland. The mean age of the participants was 27.97 years (SD = 11.15). The research tool was custom-made.

RESULTS: The decision to purchase an OTC drug under the influence of OTCA was made only by 12.4% of the respondents, and familiarity with OTCA inspired confidence among 9.3% of the respondents. However, more people do not even know if the advertising is related to their purchases (19.1%) or is related to trust in the particular drugs (20.3%). OTCA often misleads consumers when it comes to the self-assessment of their own health (18.7%), the therapeutic properties of drugs, and their side effects (22.4%). OTCA caused anxiety in 24.3% of the respondents, 25.2% felt that not taking the drug could worsen their health and 31.8% that it could improve the condition of a healthy person.

CONCLUSIONS: This advertisement does not comply with Polish regulations because they mislead consumers, make them anxious, and give the impression that they have to take the drug to stay healthy. In Poland, control over OTCA broadcast in the mass media should therefore be increased.

Free PDF Download

To cite this article

I. Radlińska, E. Kemicer-Chmielewska, M. Kożybska, K. Flaga-Gieruszyńska, B. Karkiewicz
Over-the-counter (OTC) drug advertising: informative or harmful? – Analysis based on Polish research

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2022
Vol. 26 - N. 13
Pages: 4798-4808
DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202207_29205