Self-care medicines

Responsible self-medication provides relief and improves the quality of life when the medical problem does not require doctor's attention. The use of self-care medicines makes healthcare more efficient. Savings are generated when there are fewer doctors’ appointments and prescriptions for medicines entitling the patient to have reimbursements. The authorities do not regulate the self-care medicine prices which are determined by the competitive market.

Self-care medicines are

  • medicinal products that can be bought without a prescription
  • research-based basic medicines, mostly with a long history on the market, rarely associated with any unexpected adverse reactions
  • only available at pharmacies, with the exception of nicotine replacement products.

To exploit the potential of self-care medicines, it is mandatory that people know about self-care medicines and the possibilities provided by them. The pharmaceutical industry generates continually updated information about their products, and the pharmacies provide effective medicines and health advice. Major utilisation of this information and advice would mean better use of the self-care potentials. The selection of self-care medicines could also be somewhat wider.

It is vital to ensure medication safety. Various risk groups and their needs must be identified. Self-care medicines can be defined as products requiring additional information in which case the pharmacy must pay particular attention to the medicine being suitable for the patient, ensuring that they understand the correct use of the medicine. An increasing number of such products have been recently launched on the market.

Click here for more information:
Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea)  materials on self-care medicines

Association of the European Self-Medication Industry AESGP