In a study just published in PLOS ONE, University of Auckland General Practice researcher, Dr Natalie Gauld and her international co-authors outline the missed opportunities for people to self-manage common conditions in some countries. The difference in consumer access between countries suggests that the health system in some countries could be unnecessarily burdened by conditions that may reasonably be self-managed or pharmacist-managed instead.
The study provides a comprehensive comparison of progress in switch for medicines across six developed countries: the United States; the United Kingdom; Australia; Japan; the Netherlands; and New Zealand. Results show that New Zealand was the most active in progressive switches from 2003 to 2013, with the United Kingdom and Japan not far behind. The United States, Australia and the Netherlands showed the least activity in this period. The study concludes that proactivity in medicines switching, most notably in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, questions missed opportunities to enhance consumers’ self-management in countries such as the United States.