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McKesson Europe Position Paper: How pharmacy sales of OTC Medicines contribute to better public healthcare

OTC medicines play a vital role in general population healthcare, providing important benefits for patients, healthcare systems and economies. However, medicines are not ordinary commercial goods, and there are potential accompanying risks to the patient, whether through unforeseen side-effects, inappropriate dosage, medicine dependency / misuse or even Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs).

In this Policy Position Paper, we therefore call for OTC medicine sales to be conducted as far as possible by qualified pharmacists and their teams, who can select the right medicine and provide supporting professional advice. When medicines are reclassified from prescription-only to non-prescription status, we believe that they should remain in licensed pharmacies under a Pharmacy Medicines (P meds) category to maintain appropriate supervision. In this way, policy makers can protect the public from harm while ensuring that the benefits of OTC medicines remain available to all.