Infographic: Providers’ picks

What are the OTC products most recommended by pharmacy clinicians? Our new survey lists the top picks across 12 categories.

Often, retail pharmacies are the first entry points of care for concerned customers who walk in the doors. Some days, it’s the frazzled parent of a child looking to soothe a cough. Others, it’s a former athlete looking to relieve stubborn joint pain. And with all the OTC pills, syrups, supplements and creams lining the shelves, the options can be overwhelming. So, they turn to retail pharmacy workers, seeking the most powerful endorsement of all: “What do you recommend?”

Drug Store News wanted to uncover the OTC brands that received the most recommendations directly from the source. So whether the recommendation was for a patient treated in the clinic or a consumer shopping in the store, we surveyed providers to get answers.

Twelve categories out of the 23 surveyed denoted clear brand winners. Broadly, OTC products in the cold, cough, flu and allergy categories received the most word-of-mouth brand referrals. Of note, Zyrtec ranked as the top brand amongst three different allergy and antihistamine categories, including children’s allergy medicines.

Another takeaway from the survey was that providers generally recommended NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, Motrin and naproxen, non-aspirin pain relievers like acetaminophen either by drug name, brand name or generic. However, in the Oral Arthritis Pain Reliever category, Tylenol dominated the brands, and twice as many providers indicated ibuprofen over naproxen. Tylenol was also the top indicator in the Arthritis and Joint Pain category, beating both acetaminophen and generic/store brands by a wide margin.

Dive in and take a deeper look at the findings in the breakdowns: