Quality-of-Life Among Non-Prescription Medicine Consumers – Are They Different?

Penang, Malaysia – The study “Health-Related Quality of Life among Nonprescription Medicine Customers in Malaysia” was motivated by the significant increase of non-prescription medicines consumption that may have serious consequences on the individual and collective health of the population.

In Malaysia, non-prescription medicines are mostly purchased by out-of-pocket money. As the non-prescription medicine consumers reflect self-medication practices, the measurement of their quality of life in this population is an important public health endeavor that could be used to inform health policy makers on the general health status of the population and impact on such practice on their quality of life.

A nationwide cross-sectional survey that was conducted among 2729 pharmacy consumers in 59 randomly selected community pharmacies in Malaysia found that the mean EQ-5D and EQ-VAS score among non-prescription medicines consumers were significantly lower compared to average adult Malaysian population. Locality, age, ethnicity, household income per month, type of occupation and type of non-prescription medicine purchased were associated with differences in the health status of non-prescription medicine consumers.

This study aims to determine the quality of life among community pharmacy’s consumers in Malaysia as measured by EuroQoL instrument.

The quality of life among non-prescription medicine consumers were lower compared to general population because most individuals who engaged in the self-medication to seek relief from, amelioration of, or cure of symptom, or illness. Consumers who had lower quality of life were those who are older, lives in rural areas, have low income and education level, and purchased blood and blood forming medicines from community pharmacy.

“The project looks great… a big undertaking and very important stuff. I admire the fact that you are aiming at the national level for this type of data!” Jeff Taylor, Professor of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, quoted.

Dr Asrul Akmal Shafie, PhD, author of this study states: “This research clearly suggest that the quality of life among non-prescription medicines consumers were lower compared to general population. In addition, besides socio-demographic factors, the types of medicine purchased were also associated by their well being, hence, could be the focus of future research”.


Value in Health Regional Issues  (ISSN 2212-1099) is a scientific journal that encourages and enhances the science of pharmacoeconomic/health economic and health outcomes research and its use in health care decisions. The journal is published up to three times a year with one issue focusing on the Asia region, one issue focusing on the Latin America region, and one issue focusing on the Central & Eastern Europe, Western Asia and Africa regions.

The International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health.

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