Nères is the association which represents the pharmaceutical companies which manufacture and sell selfcare products in France.
Our vision is that « Selfcare products dispensed and secured by the pharmacist and his team, are considered as an integral component toward preserving and improving the health of the French people. »
Our mission is to « develop and guarantee a framework and environment supporting the recognition of selfcare products, to preserve and improve the health of the French people. Our mission is conducted in compliance with all applicable regulations, with the support and impulse of our member pharmaceutical companies, and in collaboration with the pharmacists and authorities. »
For individuals, responsible self-medication involves « treating their illnesses with authorised medicines that do not require a medical prescription and that are reliable and effective when used as indicated (WHO, 2000) ». Remember, re-using a prescribed medicine without referring to a healthcare professional or buying medicines on the Internet is not considered as responsible self-medication and is dangerous for your health. Responsible self-medication forms part of selfcare, a concept in which individuals take responsibility for their own health. It includes prevention, environment, lifestyle, diet and responsible self-medication.
Self-medication can be used to treat everyday and minor illnesses (fever, aches and pains, coughs, etc.) as well as a number of specific illnesses (haemorrhoids, heartburn, etc.).
It can also be used for certain chronic illnesses after an initial diagnosis has been made by a doctor (allergic rhinitis, moderate arthritis of the knee, migraines, etc.) excluding the possibility of a more serious illness.
The French regulatory framework for medicine:
The Public Health Code defines:
Self-medication medicines are not officially defined.
The Notice to Manufacturers (September 2005) defines, by default, medicines for which prescriptions are optional as medicines “that do not present criteria for inclusion in the lists” (List I or II or narcotics).
As of 1 July 2008, pharmacists are authorised to allow their patients access to medicines for which prescriptions are optional – as per the lists issued by Afssaps (the French Agency for the Safety of Health Products) – in a clearly identified, reserved section that is located next to the counter in their pharmacy. As of 1 July 2008, pharmacists are authorised to allow their patients access to medicines for which prescriptions are optional – as per the lists issued by Afssaps (the French Agency for the Safety of Health Products) – in a clearly identified, reserved section that is located next to the counter in their pharmacy.
Self selection is authorised for medicines used in the treatment of illnesses including:
The lists of medicines subject to self selection are issued by ANSM (allopathic, homeopathic and plant-based medicines).
To date, the lists include 467 medicines (386 non-prescription medicines, 38 traditional plant-based medicines and 37 homeopathic medicines).
Lists are regularly updated and available on the ANSM website.