13The French people, the general practitioners and responsible self-medication
16Survey on economic impact resulting from the updating of switches and de-reimbursement.
Paris, January 22nd 2016 : Afipa (French Federation of the Pharmaceutical Industry for Responsible Self-Medication)Â presents the results of the 14th barometer on selfcare products, conducted in collaboration with OpenHealth
Paris, 23 June 2015 â€“ AFIPA, the French Federation of the Pharmaceutical Industry for Responsible Self-Medication, has published the third edition of the European Observatory on Self-Medication. This analysis, carried out by Celtipharm, provides an overview and comparison of the situation with respect to self-medication in 8 European countries (France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Sweden and the UK) on the basis of several criteria and indicators.Â
This year, AFIPA focused in particular on European healthcare systems. According to the analysis, Spain has emerged as a positive example for France.
On 20 January 2015, AFIPA (the French Federation of the Pharmaceutical Industry for Responsible Self-Medication) presented the 13th Barometer on Selfcare Products, prepared in conjunction with Celtipharm.
Despite results that were positive overall, the market remains fragile and needs the support of a genuine healthcare strategy from the public authorities. That need is all the more critical given that the market turnaround in December has clearly proved the effectiveness of the healthcare model advocated by AFIPA.
Retail pharmacies currently face a negative environment, characterised by too frequent attacks on the price of self-medication drugs. In that context, and following continued allegations in the Report of the French Inspectorate General of Finances – the conclusions of which do not correspond to the findings of Afipa’s own studies – Afipa is keen to reiterate a number objective and verifiable facts.
24For the second consecutive year, AFIPA has released the European Observatory on Self-Medication. The study, conducted by Celtipharm, sets out and compares the self-medication landscape in 8 European countries (France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom [EU 8]) on the basis of an assessment of a range of criteria and indicators.
Reflecting AFIPA’s shift towards selfcare products (medicines, medical devices and self-medication food supplements)(1), AFIPA (the French Federation of the Pharmaceutical Industry for Responsible Self-Medication) has for the first time published the 2013 figures for this market. Carried out by Celtipharm, the 12thBarometer shows an imbalance between self-medication drugs on the one hand and medical devices and food supplements on sale in pharmacies on the other.
Total sales of self-medication drugs, at retail price and including VAT, amounted to â‚¬2.123 billion in 2013, a 3% decline compared to 2012. In contrast, medical devices and food supplements experienced more favourable conditions, with an increase in sales of 4.3% and 6.2% respectively
(1)The selfcare products represented by Afipa are aimed at individuals who wish to play a role in their own health care or well-being, generally speaking with the advice of a health care professional. They include medicines for which a medical prescription is optional and which are not reimbursed, medical devices (for which a prescription is optional or unnecessary and which are not reimbursed) and food supplements (available without a prescription).
Afipa is a professional body that represents the self-medication medicines industry. As a public health player, Afipa’s mission is to promote self-medicines within the public health framework, in the interests of patients-consumers, pharmacists and companies who are members of the organisation, as well as society as a whole.
For individuals, responsible self-medication involves « treating their illnesses with authorised medicines that do not require a medical prescription and that are reliable and effective when used as indicated (WHO, 2000) ». Remember, re-using a prescribed medicine without referring to a healthcare professional or buying medicines on the Internet is not considered as responsible self-medication and is dangerous for your health. Responsible self-medication forms part of selfcare, a concept in which individuals take responsibility for their own health. It includes prevention, environment, lifestyle, diet and responsible self-medication.
Self-medication can be used to treat everyday and minor illnesses (fever, aches and pains, coughs, etc.) as well as a number of specific illnesses (haemorrhoids, heartburn, etc.).
It can also be used for certain chronic illnesses after an initial diagnosis has been made by a doctor (allergic rhinitis, moderate arthritis of the knee, migraines, etc.) excluding the possibility of a more serious illness.
The French regulatory framework for medicine:
The Public Health Code defines:
Self-medication medicines are not officially defined.
The Notice to Manufacturers (September 2005) defines, by default, medicines for which prescriptions are optional as medicines “that do not present criteria for inclusion in the lists” (List I or II or narcotics).
As of 1 July 2008, pharmacists are authorised to allow their patients access to medicines for which prescriptions are optional – as per the lists issued by Afssaps (the French Agency for the Safety of Health Products) – in a clearly identified, reserved section that is located next to the counter in their pharmacy. As of 1 July 2008, pharmacists are authorised to allow their patients access to medicines for which prescriptions are optional – as per the lists issued by Afssaps (the French Agency for the Safety of Health Products) – in a clearly identified, reserved section that is located next to the counter in their pharmacy.
Self selection is authorised for medicines used in the treatment of illnesses including:
The lists of medicines subject to self selection are issued by ANSM (allopathic, homeopathic and plant-based medicines).
To date, the lists include 467 medicines (386 non-prescription medicines, 38 traditional plant-based medicines and 37 homeopathic medicines).
Lists are regularly updated and available on the ANSM website.