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Keywords:

  • herbal product;
  • consumption;
  • drugstore;
  • Thailand

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to investigate expenditures and categories of herbal product consumption in drugstores in Thailand.

Methods

The study was designed as a cross-sectional descriptive research. Study population was drugs and foods produced from herbs sold in all registered drugstores in Thailand. Regarding sampling, one province was selected from each of 13 regions by convenience sampling. Drugstores in each province were included at a proportion of 1% of the population by a convenience sampling method. Purchasing documents of the drugstores were collected for two consecutive months in 2001 and 2003. The medians of prices were used to estimate value of the whole country.

Results

The sample included 129 and 121 drugstores in 2001 and 2003, respectively. Total consumption was 27 and 32 million US$ (1 US$ = 40 Thai baht) in the year 2001 and 2003, respectively. At constant prices, this represented an increase of 11%. The five top-ranked categories of products used in 2003 were haematonics, post-delivery drugs, anti-constipation, anti-cough, and cardiotonics.

Conclusions

Herbal product consumption increased by 11% from 2001 to 2003. To cover the full range of consumption of herbal products, further studies should include other outlets, for example hospital and direct sales. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.