The value of self-care
A major public health resource
~9.7 billion packs of non-prescription medicines and 1 billion packs of minerals and vitamins were bought by Europeans in 2019 to improve their health and contribute to their well-being. When practised correctly, self-care is a major public health resource and the fundamental level of resilient health care systems.
An untapped potential
Self-care contributes to the resilience of health systems
During the global COVID-19 pandemic, the role of self-care in supporting the resilience of health systems has become more apparent than ever. When we self-care responsibly, we ease the workload of strained healthcare professionals and increase their capacity to care for the people who cannot treat themselves. With responsible self-care, we contribute to stronger healthcare systems and better health outcomes for all.
The figures speak for themselves
Investments in self-care and improving access to self-care options lead to demonstrable long-term savings for governments and healthcare systems as well as individual households. Several studies highlight the economic and social value of self-care. The figures speak for themselves!
- making more medicines available without prescription would result in potential savings up to €2.1bn
- potential savings may be allocated to new, cost-effective drugs for severe diseases and/or unmet needs
- it is estimated that over £1.5bn could be saved each year and reinvested into the NHS
- an estimated 18 million GP appointments are taken every year in UK for self-treatable conditions. Demand and pressure on healthcare services could be relieved.
- €1 invested in OTC medicines saves €5,20 of direct costs for the health system
- self-care frees up ~2 hours/day of GPs time
Source: May, U., Bauer, C. (2013): Der gesundheitsökonomische Stellenwert von OTC-Präparaten in Österreich. Vienna 2013
- switch results in a €3.125m societal effect
- improving quality of primary health care, improving labor productivity, optimization of non working patients’time and a reduction of public expenditure on publicly covered medication