Changes in over-the-counter drug misuse over 20 years: perceptions from Scottish pharmacists

Jessica Wright, Christine Bond, Helen D Robertson, Catriona Matheson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are available without prescription, allowing convenience and facilitating self-care. As more OTC drugs become available, concerns regarding misuse have increased. This study explored pharmacists' perceptions about OTC drugs misuse, products involved and measures taken to address misuse.

METHODS: This was a cross-sectional postal survey. A questionnaire, based on one used previously (1995, 2000 and 2006), was posted to all community pharmacists in Scotland (n = 1246) in 2014. Questions related to suspected OTC misuse in their area, the products involved and resultant changes in policy. Data were managed and analysed in SPSS. Descriptive frequencies and χ(2) tests of association are reported. Responses were compared across the four cohorts.

RESULTS: The 2014 response rate was 57% (709). The proportion of pharmacists reporting suspected OTC misuse increased to 80.8% from 70.8% in 2006. Codeine-containing products were most frequently perceived to be misused; previously Nytol (diphenhydramine) had been most cited. Of pharmacists reporting suspected misuse, 91.3% had altered policies, including refusing sales and referring patients elsewhere.

CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacists are increasingly reporting OTC misuse in their areas, particularly involving codeine products. The majority adapted sales policies to reflect these concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-799
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Public Health
Volume38
Issue number4
Early online date27 Nov 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Fingerprint

Nonprescription Drugs
Pharmacists
Codeine
Diphenhydramine
Scotland
Self Care
Prescriptions
Cross-Sectional Studies

Keywords

  • abuse
  • misuse
  • non-prescription medicines
  • over-the counter
  • pharmacy

Cite this

Changes in over-the-counter drug misuse over 20 years : perceptions from Scottish pharmacists. / Wright, Jessica; Bond, Christine; Robertson, Helen D; Matheson, Catriona.

In: Journal of Public Health, Vol. 38, No. 4, 01.12.2016, p. 793-799.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wright, Jessica ; Bond, Christine ; Robertson, Helen D ; Matheson, Catriona. / Changes in over-the-counter drug misuse over 20 years : perceptions from Scottish pharmacists. In: Journal of Public Health. 2016 ; Vol. 38, No. 4. pp. 793-799.
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abstract = "BACKGROUND: Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are available without prescription, allowing convenience and facilitating self-care. As more OTC drugs become available, concerns regarding misuse have increased. This study explored pharmacists' perceptions about OTC drugs misuse, products involved and measures taken to address misuse.METHODS: This was a cross-sectional postal survey. A questionnaire, based on one used previously (1995, 2000 and 2006), was posted to all community pharmacists in Scotland (n = 1246) in 2014. Questions related to suspected OTC misuse in their area, the products involved and resultant changes in policy. Data were managed and analysed in SPSS. Descriptive frequencies and χ(2) tests of association are reported. Responses were compared across the four cohorts.RESULTS: The 2014 response rate was 57{\%} (709). The proportion of pharmacists reporting suspected OTC misuse increased to 80.8{\%} from 70.8{\%} in 2006. Codeine-containing products were most frequently perceived to be misused; previously Nytol (diphenhydramine) had been most cited. Of pharmacists reporting suspected misuse, 91.3{\%} had altered policies, including refusing sales and referring patients elsewhere.CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacists are increasingly reporting OTC misuse in their areas, particularly involving codeine products. The majority adapted sales policies to reflect these concerns.",
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N1 - Acknowledgements We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the pharmacists who completed the study questionnaires. Thank you also to Aileen Bryson, RPS Scotland for her invaluable contribution and to Specialist Pharmacists in Substance Misuse (SPiSMs) who encouraged pharmacists in their areas to participate in the study. Funding This work was supported by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government (CSO) (Grant no: CZH/4/998).

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N2 - BACKGROUND: Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are available without prescription, allowing convenience and facilitating self-care. As more OTC drugs become available, concerns regarding misuse have increased. This study explored pharmacists' perceptions about OTC drugs misuse, products involved and measures taken to address misuse.METHODS: This was a cross-sectional postal survey. A questionnaire, based on one used previously (1995, 2000 and 2006), was posted to all community pharmacists in Scotland (n = 1246) in 2014. Questions related to suspected OTC misuse in their area, the products involved and resultant changes in policy. Data were managed and analysed in SPSS. Descriptive frequencies and χ(2) tests of association are reported. Responses were compared across the four cohorts.RESULTS: The 2014 response rate was 57% (709). The proportion of pharmacists reporting suspected OTC misuse increased to 80.8% from 70.8% in 2006. Codeine-containing products were most frequently perceived to be misused; previously Nytol (diphenhydramine) had been most cited. Of pharmacists reporting suspected misuse, 91.3% had altered policies, including refusing sales and referring patients elsewhere.CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacists are increasingly reporting OTC misuse in their areas, particularly involving codeine products. The majority adapted sales policies to reflect these concerns.

AB - BACKGROUND: Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are available without prescription, allowing convenience and facilitating self-care. As more OTC drugs become available, concerns regarding misuse have increased. This study explored pharmacists' perceptions about OTC drugs misuse, products involved and measures taken to address misuse.METHODS: This was a cross-sectional postal survey. A questionnaire, based on one used previously (1995, 2000 and 2006), was posted to all community pharmacists in Scotland (n = 1246) in 2014. Questions related to suspected OTC misuse in their area, the products involved and resultant changes in policy. Data were managed and analysed in SPSS. Descriptive frequencies and χ(2) tests of association are reported. Responses were compared across the four cohorts.RESULTS: The 2014 response rate was 57% (709). The proportion of pharmacists reporting suspected OTC misuse increased to 80.8% from 70.8% in 2006. Codeine-containing products were most frequently perceived to be misused; previously Nytol (diphenhydramine) had been most cited. Of pharmacists reporting suspected misuse, 91.3% had altered policies, including refusing sales and referring patients elsewhere.CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacists are increasingly reporting OTC misuse in their areas, particularly involving codeine products. The majority adapted sales policies to reflect these concerns.

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