Nères is the trade association representing the pharmaceutical companies which manufacture and sell selfcare products in France.
Our vision is « Responsible everyday health accessible in community pharmacies to all through a comprehensive range of selfcare products »
Our mission is to « make everyday health accessible to all and facilitated by pharmacists, through the responsible development and responsible use of selfcare products. »
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 ANSM (the French Agency for Medicines and other 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 ANSM. They should be located 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 several conditions including:
The lists of medicines subject to self selection are issued by ANSM (allopathic, homeopathic and plant-based medicines).
On 16 February 2024, the lists included 552 medicines (434 non-prescription medicines, 61 traditional plant-based medicines and 51 homeopathic medicines).
Lists are regularly updated and available on the ANSM website.