The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) Educational Foundation released a national survey, which
was conducted to identify consumers’ knowledge gaps around the appropriate use, storage, and disposal of oral
over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and to inform future foundation programs and initiatives. The survey was
conducted online by Harris Poll in February 2015 among 2,002 U.S. adults 18 and older who have used or
purchased oral OTC medicines in the last six months.
While the majority of consumers are using OTC medicines safely and appropriately, three in five consumers (62
percent) have never sought information about how to properly dispose of unwanted or expired OTC medicines
despite the fact that nearly nine in 10 adults (89 percent) say the way in which someone disposes OTC medicines is
important. About half of consumers (49 percent) indicated that they desire to know more about proper disposal of
their OTC medicines. Additional key insights from the survey include the following:
• The vast majority of adults with children under 18 in the household and give or purchase OTCs for their child
(ren) are diligent when giving OTC medicine to a child.
• 98 percent look closely at the age restrictions on the OTC medicines they give the child(ren) in their household
• 96 percent check the label to make sure the medicine is appropriate for the child(ren)’s age in their household
• Over six in 10 consumers (62 percent) say they would consult with a healthcare professional if they were
going to use an OTC medicine other than how it is directed on the label.
See Related from NCPIE: BeMedWse.org