Over-the-counter vs. prescription medications: are consumer perceptions of the consequences of drug instruction non-compliance different?
Article first published online: 23 FEB 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
International Journal of Consumer Studies
Volume 37, Issue 2, pages 228–233, March 2013
How to Cite
Bower, A. B., Grau, S. L. and Taylor, V. A. (2013), Over-the-counter vs. prescription medications: are consumer perceptions of the consequences of drug instruction non-compliance different?. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 37: 228–233. doi: 10.1111/j.1470-6431.2011.01093.x
- Issue published online: 5 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 23 FEB 2012
- Medication compliance;
- usage instructions;
- instruction compliance;
- prescription medication usage
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are widely available and are extensively used by consumers to treat a range of health maladies. These medications are viewed as both safe and effective when used appropriately. However, the US Food and Drug Administration cautions that very serious adverse reactions frequently result from overdose of common OTC medications. The frequency and severity of these adverse reactions stemming from non-compliance with OTC usage suggest that these medications may not be treated with the same level of care by consumers as those afforded to prescription drugs. Consequently, the purpose of the present research is to investigate the different perceptions consumers may have regarding the importance of complying with the drug instructions for prescription vs. OTC medications. Results suggest that when considering compliance attitudes and intentions towards the usage instructions of a new and unfamiliar medication, subjects do not perceive there to be an initial difference in the consequences of non-compliance with drug instructions across the two classification conditions. However, when thinking about OTC and prescription drug instructions in general, subjects tend to take the prescription drug instructions more seriously. While further studies are obviously needed, these preliminary results provide insight into consumer perception of non-compliance with different classes of medications.