Korean J Clin Pharm.  2020 Dec;30(4):226-233. 10.24304/kjcp.2020.30.4.226.

Relationship between the Series named OTC Products and Pharmacist’s Professional Workloads in Community Pharmacy

  • 1Lab of clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, The Catholic University of Korea, Bucheon 14662, Republic of Korea


Currently, the over-the-counter (OTC) drug market is flooded with series OTC products. The pharmacist must follow the OTC product’s indication, given that the most critical role of a pharmacist is the right selection and recommendation of an OTC drug for a patient’s symptoms in a dynamic pharmacy environment. Therefore, pharmacists must know each OTC product information precisely to avoid any ambiguity due to several OTC series brand names.
We evaluated the risk and effectiveness of OTC series medicines.
From December 5 to December 18, 2019, an online survey was conducted among 145 community pharmacists.
A total of 51.0% of pharmacists knew the difference between products named in a series and could explain it spontaneously. Only 0.7% of the pharmacists admitted to not knowing the difference between products named in a series. While 42.9% of pharmacists who owned a pharmacy opined that the OTC medicines named in a series have health benefits for patients, 50.0% of employee pharmacists admitted that they were rather confused because there are several OTC series medicines. In contrast, 69.2% of pharmacists who owned pharmacies and 72.2% of employee pharmacists admitted that OTC series drugs with names similar to popular OTC drugs sell better.
While pharmacists had different opinions regarding OTC series drugs per employment status, they opined that OTC series are more helpful in pharmacy management than completely new brand names. Further studies in this regard are needed.


OTC drugs; series name; safety; confusion; indication
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