R.I.M. Porter Novelli

Self-treatment is meant to be responsible


On April 11, with the communication support of the agency R.I.M. Porter Novelli the round table “Responsible self-treatment: vectors of the concept development within the Russian reality”, organized by the International Concern Bayer in conjunction with the Union of Professional Pharmaceutical Organizations (SPFO) took place at Interfax.

The leading players of the pharmaceutical industry, practitioners, competent healthcare experts took part in the event. The round table was moderated by Lilia Titova, Executive Director of the Union of Professional Pharmaceutical Organizations. During her introductory speech she emphasized, that self-treatment is a topical subject, but is quite ambiguous. “Very often in the patient’s mind, this is tantamount to an independent diagnosis and uncontrolled intake of drugs. We want to change this attitude”.

For the first time ever in Russia, at such a high level, the issues of the competent use of OTC medicine and a responsible attitude to health, the key role of the pharmacist, the availability of medical care and the growing burden on the health care system were touched upon by patients.

According to the results of the third annual research of life quality “Bayer Barometer” conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) on Bayer Order, the most common ways to get information on OTC drugs among the Russians are recommendations of pharmacists, advice from relatives and friends, and information received from the Internet. At the same time, there are such important issues, without which “responsible self-treatment” is impossible, that is the understanding by patients of the key principles of drug administration (in particular, antibacterial drugs), their combination, distrust of doctors and advice from acquaintances.

“According to Google’s report, only in 2015 every twentieth query on the Internet was related to health – it is 3.5 billion queries. The increase in the number of chronic non-communicable diseases has become another trend. In this case, it is also very important to develop and apply the concept of responsible self-treatment, primarily in terms of reducing the load on health economics. The role of a patient in compliance with the therapy prescribed by a doctor, as well as in monitoring the own condition, is overarching. Bayer, being a concern aimed at improving the quality of life, is ready to participate in creation and implementation of educational programs” said the head of the OTC business group of JSC Bayer Irina Uspenskaya.

The round table participants agreed that responsible self-treatment in Russia can and should be developed, but it is necessary to develop a number of methodological recommendations and initiatives in order to clearly define the principles for implementing this concept, and to raise the level of health literacy of the population, thereby reducing the load on health economics.

“The concept of responsible self-treatment shall develop with the participation of a professional medical community. This is especially important in the context of sale of prescription drugs. In this case, it is not enough to consult a doctor and a pharmacist, it is important to form a patient’s responsible attitude to compliance with a drug administration method and a dose”, summed up the Executive Director of the Russian Association of Pharmacy Chains Nelly Ignatieva.

R.I.M. Porter Novelli provided organizational and information support for the event within the framework of Bayer Barometer project. The Agency has cooperated with the Bayer international concern since 2015 providing comprehensive communication support for Bayer’s activity in Russia.