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20.05.2016 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 6/2016

Journal of Community Health 6/2016

Marketing Strategies Used to Promote Children’s Medicine Sold on Internet Sites of Pharmaceutical Stores

Journal of Community Health > Ausgabe 6/2016
Corey H. Basch, Katherine J. Roberts, Emily A. Zagnit, Amairany Martinez


Retail sales of over the counter (OTC) medications have risen steadily over the years; however, these products are not without potential risk. The aim of this study was to describe the marketing strategies used to promote OTC medicines to children and their parents. Data were collected from 187 product packaging of fever reducer, allergy, and cough medicines posted on the Internet sites of three of the largest pharmacies in the United States. Specific marketing information was collected related to flavorings and pictures appearing on the packaging. There was no significant difference between the type of medicine and whether they were flavored or not, as almost every product (95.7 %) indicated that it resembles a food flavoring. On almost all the packaging (92.5 %) the flavor was also indicated by words in different font sizes. Most of the products (83.4 %) showed a picture of a food product on their packaging. There was a significant difference between the medicine types by picture, with fever medicines having more pictures of food than either cough or allergy medicine. Stronger regulations of marketing strategies of these products are needed.

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