Self medication has been the first line of defence in health care since the origin of man.

Self medication when used properly, plays an important role in the country’s total health picture. Through the use of nonprescription, over the counter (OTC) medicines, appropriate self medication provides relief of symptoms and treatment of ailments and injury without the supervision of a health professional.

It is the responsibility of the pharmaceutical industry to manufacture and market OTC pharmaceutical products that are safe, effective, of good quality, reasonably priced, truthfully advertised and properly labelled.

The members of the PhAMA and ipso factor the pharmaceutical industry have a dual responsibility. They have a business responsibility to provide good quality, safe and effective OTC medicines at reasonable price and also a social responsibility to truthfully advertise and promote their products to the consumer.

This Code of the OTC Pharmaceutical Practice has been drawn up specifically to meet the Industry’s business and social responsibilities. The PhAMA already has a Code of Conduct for ethical products.

The determination of the PhAMA and the pharmaceutical industry’s desire for high standards are expressed in these codes on a voluntary basis.

This Code will also apply to those OTC products of non-pharmaceutical origin that are marketed with medicinal claims.


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