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Strategic Analysis of the Turkish Over-the-Counter Drugs and Non-pharmaceutical Products Market

Authors
  • MEMİŞOĞLU, Merve1
  • BİLEN, Ömer2
  • 1 Biruni University Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy Management, İstanbul, Turkey
  • 2 Bursa Technical University Faculty of Architecture and Design, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Bursa, Turkey
Type
Published Article
Journal
Turkish Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Publisher
Galenos Publishing
Publication Date
Jun 18, 2021
Volume
18
Issue
3
Pages
252–261
Identifiers
DOI: 10.4274/tjps.galenos.2020.19052
PMID: 34157814
PMCID: PMC8231330
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Original Article
License
Unknown

Abstract

Objectives: The over-the-counter (OTC) drug (i.e., non-prescription drugs) market is growing significantly on a global scale. Our study reviews strategies for OTCs, together with other non-pharmaceutical products, such as herbal products, dietary supplements, and other healthcare products. The aim of this study is to analyze the expanded OTC industry to offer possible strategic solutions for existing problems. Materials and Methods: We utilized integrated SWOT and Fuzzy Analytic Network Process analyses, together with quantitative analysis covering industry professionals’ perspectives. Results: Our findings showed that the most suitable market strategies are WO2 (i.e., to use information and digital technologies, including mobile applications and social media, to reduce marketing costs), SO2 (i.e., to promote self-medication/self-care to grow the OTC market and invest in information and communication technologies for this purpose), and ST2 (i.e., to improve health literacy and increase access to accurate and understandable information via alternative channels, such as the internet and social media). These key strategies are closely related to the utilization of digital technologies. Other strategies, such as SO1 (i.e., to encourage pharmacists to provide consulting for OTC products, which carry high profitability) and ST1 (i.e., to undertake stakeholder training programs to ensure production quality and introduce safe use to improve community health), were examined in detail, and their outcomes were interpreted in this study. Conclusion: Given the impact of digital transformation, the same strategies can be implemented for other emerging OTC markets. This study underlines the importance of the OTC sector as one of the main drivers for improving community health and reducing health costs.

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