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

The Story of Self-Care and Self-Medication. 40 years of progress, 1970-2010

40 Years Booklet

Published on the 40th anniversary of the formation of WSMI, the booklet reviews the evolution in the global understanding of self-care and responsible self-medication and growing areas of application over the past half century. It is illustrated with examples of self-care related initiatives by the World-Health Organisation (WHO) and other International Organizations, by the broader availability of nonprescription medicines supporting people in self-care, and by the activities of WSMI since its establisment in 1970. It would be of interest to anyone involved in healthcare policy, in particular in nonprescription products’ regulation, or to anyone with a general interest in healthcare.

Hard copies

To order a print copy please send an e-mail with your request.

SWITCH. Prescription to Nonprescription Switch

Switch Booklet

Self-care and responsible self-medication with nonprescription medicines can play an important role in healthcare, not least in the prevention of the coming epidemic of non communicable chronic diseases. Switching more products to nonprescription status increases access to safe and effective medicines which patients can use without always having to go to a healthcare professional, thus giving people the tools to take better care of themselves through self-care.

After a worldwide historical review (section I), the booklet moves on to a presentation of the public health aims and benefits of switches (section II) and then to the central question of the indications, or conditions, that are likely to be considered for self-medication in the future (section III). The following section reviews the necessary country conditions for switching (section IV) before addressing some of the key switch-related regulatory issues (section V).

The booklet would be of interest to anyone involved in healthcare policy, in particular in nonprescription products’ regulation.

Hard copies

To order a print copy please send an e-mail with your request.

Better Regulation of Nonprescription Medicines

Better Regulation Booklet

All too often in developing countries, regulation of nonprescription medicines is not clearly distinguished from that of prescription medicines. This lack of distinction places limits on achieving an optimal level of public health. Starting with clarifying the distinctions between Rx and OTC medicines, and the purposes of regulation, the booklet then reminds the reader of the benefits of greater use of nonprescription medicines. Best practice in regulation of nonprescription medicines is then discussed, and finally some material is presented on the issue of the review of existing legislation.

Hard copies

Copies in English are available from WSMI. Please send an e-mail with your request.

Advertising of non-prescription medicines to the public – A significant Contributor to Healthcare

Advertising Booklet

Nonprescription (or over-the-counter, OTC) medicines are medicines which are approved as safe and effective for use without a doctor’s prescription. As no healthcare professional is necessarily involved in their use, advertising directly to the public of the availability of nonprescription medicines is essential. The booklet is structured in three sections. The first and second sections review the nature and benefits of nonprescription medicines’ advertising. The third section proposes a discussion on the appropriate regulation of nonprescription medicines’ advertising based on a review of various countries’ experiences.

Hard copies

To order a print copy please send an e-mail with your request.

Responsible Self-Care and Self-Medication. A Worldwide Review of Consumer Surveys

Surveys Booklet

This new review of consumer surveys carried out over the past 10 years around the world confirms that OTC medicines are used cautiously and responsibly and that they help to educate people on the practice of healthy living habits and self-care.

It summarises the striking similarities among people around the world. Feeling unwell and suffering from non-chronic ailments is a very common experience. People around the world tend to treat these conditions in much the same conservative way, about a quarter of the time turning to OTC medicines. People are becoming more confident that they have a role to play in their own healthcare and they believe that a modern healthcare system should offer inceasing opportunities to access OTC medicines.

Hard copies

Copies in English and Spanish are available from WSMI. Please send an e-mail with your request.

WSMI – World Medical Association (WMA) joint paper – September 2006

World Medical Journal

Dr David Webber of WSMI, and Dr John Williams of WMA, have co-authored a publication in the September issue of the Medical World Journal, entitled ‘A Discussion Paper on the Future of Self-Care and its implications for Physicians’. The emergence of self-care and responsible self-medication is of importance to physicians around the world, and this paper is designed to stimulate discussion and interaction between doctors and their representatives, and the self-medication industry.

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) monograph on self-care and self-medication

ICN Monograph

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has produced a booklet entitled “Responsible Self-Medication: Nursing Perspectives”. Nurses often being the first point of medical contact for the public, healthcare systems are increasingly recognizing the importance of their role in educating and supporting people with self-care, particularly self-medication for minor ailments, as well as for long-term medical conditions. This monograph has been developed to address some of the nurses’ interests arising from this increased responsibility.

The World Self-Medication Industry (WSMI) is pleased to have contributed to this monograph which should help nurses assume leadership to discuss with, advise and educate individuals about self-care and responsible self-medication.

Hard copies

If you would like to request a copy please send an e-mail with your request.

Creating a Framework for the Self-Care Consumer

Creating a Framework

This publication provides you with a brief description of the evidence behind the basis of responsible self-medication.

You will also find examples of WSMI policy positions and illustrations of self-medication approaches taken by governments.

Hard copies

Copies in English, Spanish and Chinese are available from WSMI. Please send an e-mail with your request.