World Self-Medication Industry

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Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
- Primary health care towards universal health coverage

The World Self-Medication Industry appreciates the opportunity to participate and submits the following contribution.

We take this opportunity to affirm support for agenda item 11.5, claiming that primary health care is a whole-of-society approach to meeting health needs through comprehensive and integrated health services. We commend emphasis put on a people centred approach, ensuring long term care that is proactive, patient-centred, and sustainable as a cornerstone of a sustainable health system.

We call for the need to recognize the role of self-care and self-medication in primary health care towards achieving universal health coverage:

• With growing populations and healthcare costs escalating, self-care and self-medication is increasingly important in treatment and prevention while saving vital health expenditure. Research confirms that access to nonprescription medicines by reclassification of appropriate prescription medicines to nonprescription status, cuts costs and helps systems meet their needs.

• Health literacy is key to enabling individuals to self-manage common ailments, recognizing when to seek health-care services. Individuals are empowered as better self-managers of their health, to make appropriate choices.

• All healthcare professionals and especially the pharmacist continue to play a pivotal role in supporting the self-care continuum by guiding individuals to make healthy lifestyle choices and facilitating self-medication throughout the life course. This contributes to achieving universal health coverage, ensuring rational use of resources.

We fully support the upcoming first ever United Nations high-level meeting (UNHLM) on Universal Health Coverage which will offer offers a chance for political leaders to rethink the way we can expand quality healthcare for all.