Finns prefer to cure their minor health problems without resorting to medical help

The majority of Finnish people think it is a waste of time to see a doctor for a small self-treatable ailment.  According to the survey PIF ordered from TNS Gallup, most Finnish people prefer to go to the doctor's only if it is indispensable or the symptoms so require. 

About half of the respondents would like to start medicating their mild symptoms with a small medicine package without an appointment with a doctor. The majority of the respondents would like to have their allergy medicines without prescription. Many would like to be able to buy OTC medicines for labial herpes, migraine as well as for recurrent infections of the urinary tract and inflammations of the eye. A good third of the respondents would also like to see influenza vaccines available without prescription.

Fimea’s new self-care medicine programme outlines future self-care

The information on consumers’ attitudes to self-care is very topical in view of the self-care medicine programme published today by Fimea. In its document, Fimea takes a stand on the decision-making related to self-care medication as well as on the future of self-care. According to Fimea, the self-care medicines can, at best, significantly improve the availability of medicines, and often alleviate the burden felt in other parts of the healthcare system.

“Wider use of self-care medicines would ease the pressure on the healthcare system by decreasing the need for doctor's appointments", Jussi Merikallio, General Manager of PIF comments on the issue.

“The use of self-care medicines is an uncomplicated and quick way for the patient to have the necessary treatment when faced with a familiar or a relatively easily definable health problem”, Maija Gohlke-Kokkonen, Special Adviser of PIF adds.

According to her, the programme is a significant advancement in the development of self-care medication and it has attracted Europe-wide attention. "The outcome of the survey shows that people are very motivated to take care of themselves. Here, the support and advice provided by the pharmacies play an important role", Gohlke-Kokkonen concludes.

Further information:

Maija Gohlke-Kokkonen, Special Adviser, Pharma Industry Finland PIF, tel. +358 40 700 1655

 

Summary of results:

Majority of Finnish people seek medical help only when it is indispensable

  • 83% of Finnish people think it is a waste of time to see a doctor for a small self-treatable ailment.
  • 70% prefer to go to the doctor's only if it is indispensable or the symptoms so require.
  • 26% of respondents say they rather see the doctor for safety's sake than risk having problems if they skip it.
  • 20% go to see a doctor for a medical certificate, 19% have regular checks to follow their disease and 19% go once a year to have their prescriptions renewed.
  • 20% of the respondents do without the doctor's appointment whenever they can. 66% often wait for the problems to clear up of their own accord.

Medicines help almost everybody

  • 83% of the respondents felt medicines had helped them with their problems. 36% are regular users of prescription-only medicines.
  • 46% of the respondents would like to medicate themselves with a small medicine package, advised by the pharmacy and without having to resort to a doctor.
  • 68% would like to have their allergy medicines, at least in small packages, without prescription. 47% would like to buy the tablets for labial herpes over the counter. 44% of the respondents would like to buy their migraine medicines without a prescription while the percentage is 41% in case of recurrent urinary tract infections and 41% for the inflammations of the eye.  35% of the respondents would welcome influenza vaccines available at the pharmacy without prescription. 

Net-based survey performed by TNS Gallup in October 2014 with replies obtained from 1074 Finnish people between 15 and 74 years of age (excluding inhabitants of the Province of Åland). The margin of statistical error is about 3 percentage points in either direction. 

Lyhyesti
According to the survey PIF ordered from TNS Gallup, most Finnish people prefer to go to the doctor's only if it is indispensable or the symptoms so require.
About half of the respondents would like to start medicating their mild symptoms with a small medicine package without an appointment with a doctor.
According to self-care medicine programme published today by Fimea, the self-care medicines can, at best, significantly improve the availability of medicines, and often alleviate the burden felt in other parts of the healthcare system.
26. Jan 2015