Over-the-counter medicines often unsuitable: many medicines fail

Over-the-counter medicines often unsuitable: many medicines fail

Nearly one in three of about 2,000 over-the-counter medications reviewed is not very suitable, according to stiftung warentest, a german consumer watchdog group. A corresponding report in the "bild" newspaper was confirmed by the responsible project manager of the foundation warentest to the german press agency. These include known remedies for colds, colds, sore throats, constipation, diarrhea and insect bites.

Combinations of different active ingredients often perform poorly, such as painkillers and stimulants in cold medicines. In other cases, the testers criticized high alcohol content in a nighttime cold remedy, for example, or unsuitable compositions in tablets for throat infections. The 2000 over-the-counter medications are part of a more comprehensive database of stiftung warentest with drugs.

According to the german pharmacy association, more than 600 million over-the-counter medicines are dispensed in pharmacies every year. About one in three packages bought from pharmacies is used for self-medication. In the mail order business, a smaller quantity is added to the price. Sales amount to more than six billion euros, according to a study.

According to another survey, many patients hardly see the risks of over-the-counter medicines and also take parallel medicines prescribed by their doctor. However, according to experts, it is precisely the interaction of the drugs that harbors additional risks.

In the meantime, an evaluation has become known according to which many new drugs for serious illnesses are no better than the old ones – some even worse. These are the results of the institute for quality and efficiency in health care (iqwig) in poland, as reported in "die welt" (wednesday).

In the past two years, the institute has tested 48 new drugs for their additional benefits – more than half of the drugs (26) failed the test. New drugs for cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and other serious diseases were evaluated.

In three cases, even a lower benefit was found within a patient group, i.E. The new active ingredient had more disadvantages than advantages compared to the previously available therapies.

"For 22 drugs, we have been able to establish that they really are better than conventional drugs," iqwig chief executive jurgen windeler told the newspaper. According to the study, three of these were even considerably better, while eleven were still respectable.

Since a drug reform in 2011, manufacturers of drugs with new active ingredients have had to submit evidence of additional benefits when they are launched on the market. The joint federal committee of health insurers, physicians and hospitals then decides, based on the expertise of the independent iqwig, whether and what additional benefit a new drug actually has and under what conditions it may be prescribed. A fixed amount is set for medicines with no added value. For drugs with additional benefits, health insurers and manufacturers negotiate a price – only what brings more should also cost more.

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