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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Pharmacy Times OTC Guide (Is Stupid)

I understand this is for Brand products. It's there in the title of the survey. There's no reason to recommend brands over generics UNLESS it's to give the patient a name to remember as they peruse the aisles. If we walk them to the product, the patient most likely will walk away with the store brand. 
But I digress. 
On with my rant. 
The more years I have practiced, the more I have realised how useless this annual report really is. After completing the survey a number of times, I've also learned how incomplete and inaccurate it is.
For those who don't know, we are given survey questions in the form of multiple-choice. For some questions there may only be two options, for others, there could be ten.
What if my answer isn't listed? I guess my opinion doesn't count.
In that case, I am actually responding to "Which of the FOLLOWING do you recommend?" instead of "What do YOU recommend?"
See the difference? 
Let's look at the categories (a few). 
Stool Softeners: Your choices are 
1. Colace, 2. Dulcolax, 3. DulcoEase, 4. Phillips' Stool Softener. 
(Let's suppose this is one of those "one of these drugs is not like the other" song-y games.) Can you tell which one doesn't belong? 
Here's a hint: "It has LAX-ative" in the name" which means it's NOT a stool softener as per the category requirement. Shit. 

Let's move to Cough/Cold/Flu Combinations Daytime
Nope. Not recommending any combinations. For one, they usually don't contain what you need or contain something you don't. Two, last I checked, Claritin and Mucinex are single-ingredient products. (No, before you respond, the response did not say Mucinex Cold or Flu, it said Mucinex only.) Coricidin HBP is a marketing gimmick ONLY. Period. Its sole existence is due to the fact that, at one time, pseudoephedrine was in OTC products. Simply put, HBP = Pseudoephedrine-free. Now it's just marketing. No reason to recommend this product.

Antihistamines: Claritin? Really? It's shite compared to the other daily ones which are all better. 
Homeopathics: I'm not recommending these. If you want them, I'll show you where they are. Maybe that's what they meant. 
Acid Reducers. Why do they combine H-2 with PPIs? then separate them into their own categories? There are reasons to choose one category over the other. This makes it seem like Pepcid is the go-to for every issue. How is the patient, the target audience of this report, to make a decision off of this? 

Topical Poison Ivy/Oak
There is a true, equal split here. Why are there eight replies representing 7% - 17%? Because we usually recommend a combination of products. 

Hand sanitizers? 
Really? I'm fairly certain I have never recommended a brand of sanitizer. Does it have enough alcohol? Yes? Buy it. 

Headaches vs Migraine Headaches?
pssst. Excedrin and Excedrin Migraine are the exact same product. Same ingredients. Same strengths. 
Oral Anti-Inflammatory?
Advil and Motrin are the same thing. Technically we're all recommending Ibuprofen, aren't we? 
As I said before, the sole purpose of this report is to increase sales of Brand OTC medications. It is our responses to a list. It is NOT a reflection of what we actually recommend.

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