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Advertising: Over-the-Counter Drugs

  • By: Jisu Huh, Denise E. DeLorme & Leonard N. Reid
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are medications that do not require a physician's prescription and consumers can purchase off the shelf in stores. Also known as nonprescription drugs, OTC drugs are used for self-treatment of a wide variety of mild symptoms, conditions, and illnesses. OTC drugs are playing an increasingly important role in the overall health care system because they are easily accessible, relatively affordable, and generally safe and effective. The size of the OTC drug market has been expanding steadily for multiple reasons including (1) increasing consumer involvement and autonomy in their personal health care; (2) the growing trend of self-medication; (3) the expanding availability of health information to the public, including greater use of the Internet as a source of self-medication information; (4) preference ...

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