World self-medication industry
The world federation promoting better health through responsible self-medication
NGO in official relations with the World Health Organization

Latest report from the Macquarie University/ASMI research partnership

ASMI, the Australian Self-Medication Industry, has partnered with the Macquarie University Centre for the Health Economy (MUCHE) for researching into attitudes of consumers with regards to how they use non-prescription products. This study was funded through a pilot research grant under an “Enterprise partnership Scheme”. Undertaken in December 2013, the study surveyed the attitudes of 1146 Australians over the age of 18 regarding OTC, vitamins/minerals/supplements (VMS) and prescription medicines. Respondents were also asked to report on children or other family members they supervised. The study reveals a high uptake of OTC medicines in Australia, indicating that consumers are comfortable treating a variety of illnesses with OTC medicines, and it shows the majority of Australians use complementary medicines to improve their health and wellbeing. Interestingly, it also shows the time- and cost-saving qualities of non-prescription products and their convenience for the Australian public.

Hightlights of the study
  • 23% of respondents used two OTC medicines in the last month
  • 51.7% of respondents used five or more OTC medicines in the last year
  • 41% of respondents purchase their OTC medicines from front of counter; 36% from behind the counter and 23% from the supermarket
  • 51% of respondents said they would go to their usual doctor if they could not get the medicine they needed
  • 70% of respondents have used vitamins, minerals and supplements in the last year, with 47% using two or more types
  • 36% of respondents have used vitamins, minerals and supplements in the last year, with 47% using two or more types
  • 36% of respondents take multivitamins and 34% take fish oil. This is followed by calcium supplements and glucosamine at 18.5% and 14% respectively
  • 63% of respondents VMS users had a post-secondary education, compared with 33% of the Australian population
  • The majority of people take supplements for general health and wellbeing, followed by joint health and bone health.
Download the study report:  CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR FACT BOOK_MARCH 2015
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