OTC DXM drives good bargain - saving healthcare $31 billion over 10 years


WASHINGTON - The OTC availability of dextromethorphan will save consumers and the healthcare system between $22 billion and $31 billion over the next 10 years, according to a study released Tuesday that was conducted by Charles River Associates and quantifies the savings consumers and the healthcare system receive from the over-the-counter availability of the widely used cough suppressant.

The study, commissioned by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, looks at how much patients, employers and payers would pay over a 10-year window (beginning in 2016 and continuing until 2025) if the products were not OTC.

“Year round and especially during cough and cold season, consumers rely on OTC medicines to safely and effectively treat their symptoms so they can get a good night’s rest and carry on with their busy days,” stated Scott Melville, presidend and CEO CHPA. “Given that there are roughly 1 billion cases of the common cold each year, it’s no surprise that the savings consumers get from avoiding unnecessary trips to the doctor and accessing affordable nonprescription treatments add up.”

The study calculates the estimated savings due to direct costs of the drugs to consumers and physicians as well as other factors such as work absenteeism and productivity loss.


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