What Makes You Purchase OTC Medicines?

Seoul, South Korea – Using over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can sometimes cause side effects if a consumer does not know the proper dose or use of them. Besides, mild diseases can develop into severe diseases by continuous self-medication without professional care.

In the paper, “The Factors Contributing to Expenditures on Over-the-Counter Drugs in South Korea,” published in Value in Health Regional Issues, Ja-Hyun Cho, (MPH), PhD student and Dr. Tae-Jin Lee, Professor in Health Economics at Seoul National University, Korea, ascertain the characteristics of patients that purchased OTC drugs for more than three months, and investigate the relationship between the use of OTC drugs and the utilization of other healthcare services.

About 6.2% of the respondents included in the 2008 Korea Health Panel have used OTC drugs for more than three months for self-medication or nutrition. In addition to age and chronic disease, the use of outpatient services at clinics is the major factor related to using OTC drugs for self-medication. This is because the accessibility of OTC drugs increases when the number of clinic or dental clinic visit increases.

Dr. Lee states, “Considering the potential adverse effects of OTC drugs, communication between physicians and patients should be encouraged at outpatient visits.”


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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