The conference, organized by AFAMELA, WSMI’s member association in Mexico, with the support of WSMI, brought together 108 attendees, including 23 speakers from 9 countries. The different sessions of the Conference ran as planned, with presentations given by top executives of the World Self – Medication Industry, the Mexican Ministry of Health, Academia, consulting firms and industry executives with national and international roles.
The Conference allowed to deepen local understanding of the implications and benefits that Self-Care and Responsible Self-Medication bring to individuals and healthcare systems. The presentations given by representatives of WSMI’s members in Europe (AESGP), Australia (ASMI), the USA (CHPA), Canada (CHP Canada), and Japan (JSMI) and also by WSMI were particularly helpful as they provided a clear overview of the most recent developments these associations have been leading, in their countries and globally, with the aims to promote Self-Care and Responsible Self-Medication and to improve the regulatory framework applicable to Self-Care products.
The presentation on “Understanding Influences of Self-Care Behavior” within the session on “Improving the Agenda for Advertising and Switching for Nonprescription Products”, complemented by examples of national experiences, helped the audience acquire a better understanding of the key aspects of self-care decision making in which advertising plays a limited role. A wide variety of product information sources play a role in creating awareness of available solutions for self-care health needs. The main sources of information that people use are recommendations of health professionals and friends or family members. Product advertising is only trusted as a tool to assist in decision making by 6% of the population.
The Benefit-Risk Model for evaluating a drug for nonprescription status was also presented in a general presentation on “Improving the Agenda for Switch for Nonprescription Medicines (see our News item of 1 November 2011). This model is a comprehensive and effective tool to evaluate applications for re-classifications of medicines involving new indications and major new ingredients.
All participants benefited from the positive experiences presented throughout the conference and AFAMELA will continue the dialogue with the Mexican Agency COFEPRIS on the regulation of nonprescription products within a healthcare system that has self-care as a core component.