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2021: a renewed trust in selfcare products and an evidence of their importance for the French healthcare system

NèreS presents the results of the 2021 barometer of selfcare products sold in community pharmacies carried out in collaboration with OpenHealth Company.

These products play an essential role in the everyday health of the French people and 2021 surely confirms this observation. After a difficult and disrupted year in 2020 due to the health crisis, the year 2021 has been driven by two phenomena:
– The expansion of community pharmacists’ missions, which has largely contributed to an increase in the number of visits to community pharmacies;
– The growth of selfcare products: +7.1%. Driven in particular by innovation, this market is a key activity for all pharmacies, whatever their size, and plays an essential role in the French healthcare system of today and tomorrow.

Access the full report (in French) here
Access the comprehensive press release (in English) here


NèreS launches its platform of proposals on selfcare products for the coming 2022 presidential elections.

On September 14, 2021, NèreS launched its platform of proposals for the coming 2022 presidential elections: The professional association intends to remind that selfcare products are essential to everyday health.

Its key measure : that a political and strategic vision on the place and contribution of selfcare products be finally adopted in France.

Indeed, these products not only meet the current expectations of the French in terms of accessibility and quick access to care, but also in terms of new consumption behaviors or advice tailored to each individual provided by the community pharmacist. In spite of this, public health policies continue to ignore selfcare products.

« 80% of French people use selfcare products every year. NèreS, through its members, is calling for the recognition of these products in the organization of today’s and tomorrow’s health care » explains Vincent COTARD, its President. « It is urgent that a political and strategic vision on our products be developed ! Our platform allows the different political parties, but also the media, to grasp the subject while providing them with the necessary information and data to do so, » he adds.

With such a vision, selfcare products could better contribute to solving many of the challenges of the French health care system: improving access to care, reducing health insurance deficit, etc. For example, already 25% of visits to a community pharmacy are related to selfcare products, which represents approximately 310 million pharmacy visits per year. In addition, a study by the Association of the European Self-Care Industry (AESGP), to be published by the end of the year, also indicates that the use of selfcare products currently save each doctor 2.4 hours of medical consultation per day. This is also a significant time saving for patients (consultation, travel) and selfcare has a de facto lesser impact on their professional and personal lives.

13 additional measures to ensure that selfcare products are at the heart of everyday health!

13 additional measures to support the key measure of NèreS are to be discovered on the platform. They also highlight the fact that selfcare products are a solution to ensure national health sovereignty, support the growing role of pharmacists in people health and contribute to the French economic growth while allowing each French citizen to take control of his or her health. Vincent COTARD mentions that: « Among these measures, we are promoting the pharmacy-based healthcare pathway (PSO) which is a first link in our health system for many individuals, as well as making visible the production of our products in France with a « Made in France » label and more broadly the « Made in Europe » label, or reducing the environmental impact that regulatory decisions can have”. Finally, for those who wish to know more about the selfcare products sector represented by NèreS, a frequently asked questions section is also available on the platform.

Our proposals in details

Key measure: The development of a political and strategic vision on the place of primary care health and prevention products in tomorrow’s healthcare system

Additional measures:

  • Actively promote the pharmacy-based healthcare pathway (OCP) to the French population;
  • Facilitate processes to allow more medicines to be available without a prescription;
  • Strengthen the safety of dispensing newly switched medicines;
  • Eliminate the additional cost of these drugs for patients due to the VAT difference;
  • Remove the economic barriers to the pharmacy-based healthcare pathway;
  • Review the framework for the online sale of OTC medicines;
  • Adopt and implement strong industrial policies to maintain and increase production in France and in Europe;
  • Make visible the country of production for medicines manufactured in France and in Europe to patients through allowing its highlight on the packaging;
  • Develop an ambitious prevention and early detection policy that includes pharmacies and, where relevant, selfcare products;
  • Improve the responsible use of selfcare products through electronic patient records;
  • Enable pharmaceutical companies to contribute fully to patient education and information;
  • Align France’s regulatory framework with that of other European Union countries to facilitate the use of selfcare products such as food supplements;
  • Consider and reduce the environmental impact of regulatory decisions.

About NèreS

NèreS is the French association that represents pharmaceutical companies producing and marketing selfcare products available in pharmacies without a prescription (OTC medicines, medical devices and food supplements).


Make selfcare products a lever for resilience and access to proximity care in France

In September 2020, Afipa released a report on the role and impact of selfcare products during the first wave of Covid 19 epidemic in France. This report is completed by a series of proposals to reshape the healthcare system in France, in particular in terms of access to primary care.

Access the report here


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Franck Leyze has been Managing Director, Consumer Health Care, at Sanofi France since May 2017.

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