Consumers taking charge of their health

Today (24 July) is International Self Care Day, marking a concept that allows consumers to take a more active role in managing their health

The event, which is hosted by the World Self Medication Industry, aims to celebrate the importance of self-care and encourage the general public to practise responsible self-care.

“Every year ISD is observed on July 24 (24/7) to serve as a reminder that the benefits of self-care are lifelong, experienced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” says the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, which is hosting this year’s event in the US.

The challenges to meet the demand for self care will require better use of digital technology for health, easier access to more medicines, and changes in the way medicines are advertised, according to the Nicholas Hall Group of Companies, an international specialist in OTC consumer healthcare.

“In the new approach to health, consumers drive health” and not the other way around, says Monica Feldman, consumer health strategist for the Nicholas Hall Group of Companies.

“In the past, people would feel sick and then do something about their health, mostly by reaching out to the general practitioner or pharmacist for advice or treatment. This was the passive way,” says Ms Feldman, who will be presenting in a session called Consumer Self Care Trends & Insights at the World Self Medication Industry Conference 2017, which is this year themed “The Health Economic Value of Self Care”.

“At present, the traditional approach to health based on treatment is shifting to prevention. This is the active way. More than ever, consumers are seeking ways to stay as healthy as possible,” she says.

“Patients are increasingly becoming ‘prosumers’ … active consumers, who demand a stronger say and wish to be integrated in their health-related decisions,” says Dr Isabelle Koinig, who is also presenting in the WSMI consumer self-care session.

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