IPHA Consumer Healthcare Division rebranded as Self-Care Division

  • Renewed emphasis on building trust in self-care through access, awareness and education, reducing the burden on the healthcare system
  • Increased remit of Code to include non-prescription medical devices and Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products (THMPs)
  • Launch of the Self-Care Advertising Code, formerly known as the IPHA Code of Standards of Advertising Practice for the Consumer Healthcare Industry

The Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) has rebranded its Consumer Healthcare Division as the Self-Care Division. This decision was made to better explain the vision of the group which is to build trust in self-care through access, awareness and education. It acknowledges the increased remit of the IPHA Code to include medical devices and Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products (THMPs) and in recognition of the newly launched Self-Care Advertising Code.

Self-care is about people taking ownership of their own health and making it better. That can be through exercising more, getting the right amount of sleep, eating the right foods or using the right non-prescription medicinal products and devices. The renewed focus of the Self-Care Division is to deliver trust in science and medicines. Building and supporting access to self-care will ultimately reduce the demands on the healthcare system.

Covid has changed how people engage with the healthcare system. The rebranding of the Consumer Healthcare Division is in response to that change in healthcare behaviours. Global trends suggests people are more attuned to personal health and wellbeing. They are reappraising their behaviour and attitudes to self-care by prioritising it as a lifestyle choice.

At the start of March, the new IPHA Self-Care Advertising Code came into effect. It continues to apply to advertisements for non-prescription medicines – and it addresses advertisements for non-prescription medical devices for self-care use (except those used for diagnostic purposes or are used for a cosmetic condition) and for THMPs. The expanded remit of the Code gives companies the opportunity to adhere to a Code of Practice that is continuously updated in light of national and international changes in standards, national regulatory discussions and developments in the industry – all with the aim of ensuring the highest standards in interaction by companies with the public and with healthcare professionals. The new IPHA Self-Care Advertising Code has a dedicated section for online activities which are becoming increasingly important.

Oliver OConnor, Chief Executive of IPHA, said: Covid has impacted personal healthcare practices. We know that people are visiting GPs less and turning to their pharmacist for advice. They are turning to the internet to access online doctors and other healthcare support or information. At IPHA, we are focused on ensuring that this change in healthcare practice is reflected in how our member companies operate, ensuring regulatory-approved and correct procedures are in place. The new Self-Care Advertising Code was developed with an acknowledgement of this increased online activity. The expanded remit of the Code to include non-prescription medical devices and THMPs allows for a wider range of companies to self-regulate, ensuring that their product messaging is accurate and based on scientific evidence with the ultimate aim of ingraining trust in self-care and the information available.”

John Sheehy, Chair of the IPHA Self-Care Division and Country Manager at Perrigo, said: “In rebranding the Self-Care Division, we are responding to the external environment. Healthcare practices are always evolving  but never so much as in the past year. Self-care is increasingly becoming a key part of personal health management, whether it is to exercise more, improve your diet or look after your mental health. It is about having trust and faith in the science behind non-prescription medicines which can positively impact on your overall health and wellbeing. The vision of the Self-Care Division is to build this trust and give people the confidence to make the right decisions about their own lives.”

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