We Discovered Some Interesting Stuff

We asked people like you several questions about how they use over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. We learned a lot and want to share our findings with you. Pick a favorite and share it with others.

Our survey of 2000 Americans was conducted in July 2015 (more about the survey). Help us spread the word about OTC appropriate use by educating your friends and family.

Americans don’t understand OTC medicines as well as they think. Almost 40% see directions as purely guidelines.

People who’ve taken OTC medicines before are less likely to read the label more than once—only 50% take the time to read it again.

Americans would read the dosing directions on an OTC medicine label rather than seek out the medicine’s active ingredients.

Other than acetaminophen, Americans don’t understand or recognize some of the most common OTC active ingredients.

Americans are more likely to read OTC labels when the medicine is for a loved one. 33% say it’s acceptable to skim the label when personally taking OTCs, but only 25% when giving OTCs to loved ones.

Minorities take the time to double-check an OTC label: 60% of African-Americans compared with just 33% of Caucasians.

81% of women know it’s very important to read an OTC medicine label, but only 62% of men do. The older we get, the less likely we are to read an OTC label—especially if over 70.

Responses according to a survey of adults 18 years and older who reported having taken an OTC medicine in the past 90 days. The survey included responses from 2000 participants nationwide. Data were weighted to reflect national demographic representation according to the US census, including a near 50/50 gender split, and a majority White (65%) respondent base with considerable African American (13%) and Hispanic American (15%) representation.

About the Campaign

Every Label. Every Time. is an initiative developed by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, designed to educate consumers about the appropriate use of over-the-counter medicines and the importance of reading and following all medication labels.