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Bringout the Health Within

Societal Shift in How We Take Medicine Seen in Large-Scale Study

Newtown Square, Pa., Winter 2012—Seventy-nine percent of U.S. women are attempting to limit their overall usage of traditional over-the-counter (OTC) medications. While they believe in the efficacy of OTCs, they feel these products aren’t “good” for them, especially when used frequently. Coming off the heels of numerous product recalls, a sizable number of women cite purity and lack of chemical and irritants (64 percent) to be important factors when choosing OTC products.

These are some of the key findings unearthed in a new study conducted by The Hartman Group on behalf of Boiron, world leader in homeopathic medicines. More than 2,000 women ages 25–70 who are the primary shopper for their household participated in the online study administered earlier this year as a benchmark to 2010’s similar study of 1,400 women.

Cough, cold and flu medications had the highest dissatisfaction rate (54 percent) over categories for sleep and stress aids, external pain relievers, internal pain relievers, first aids for cuts, scrapes and burns, and teething medications. The range of dislikes about current brands of traditional OTC drugs included products not always working well, side effects or interactions with other medications, ingredients that are artificial/chemical, and bad taste.

Homeopathic medicines offer cough, cold and flu sufferers, especially moms, a choice to traditional medications, as well as the benefits and features that they strongly desire. This genre of medicine has an extraordinary record of safety for any class of drug. The medicines work naturally, they do not cause side effects such as drowsiness, and they do not interact with other medications, herbs, vitamins, etc. Boiron’s Oscillococcinum® for flu-like symptoms and Chestal® cough syrup are also safely labeled for children as young as 2 years of age.

The study also found that a growing number of women who use OTC medicines do so in an effort to prevent illness (21 percent, up from last year’s 15 percent) or treat symptoms at the first sign (37 percent). That’s a combined 58 percent, as opposed to 42 percent who wait to take medication only after full-blown symptoms develop.

While homeopathic medicines do not prevent illnesses, generally they are best taken at the first sign of symptoms to rebalance the body rather than mask symptoms. Their safety features allow people to easily begin treatment early on.

Oscillococcinum, for example, nips flu-like symptoms in the bud. Clinical studies show it helps reduce both the severity and duration of flu-like symptoms.1-4 When patients took Oscillo® within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms, nearly 63 percent showed “clear improvement” or “complete resolution” within 48 hours, according to the latest study published in a British scientific journal.1 These results confirm results from previous studies.

Last, a primary advantage of homeopathic medicines is ease of child compliance—a top problem listed by moms according to another Boiron study. Oscillococcinum’s melt-away pellets taste sweet and require no water. Likewise, Chestal cough syrup uses a sweet-tasting natural honey base.

Paralleling the growth in demand seen in the study for safe and natural medicines, Oscillococcinum and Chestal are now conveniently found in CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens. Boiron’s full line for many everyday conditions can be found in health food stores and independent pharmacies nationwide. To locate the nearest store that carries these medicines, visit www.BoironUSA.com, call the Boiron Information Center at 1-800-BOIRON-1 (800-264-7661) or e-mail [email protected].


  1. Papp R., et al. “Oscillococcinum® in patients with influenza-like syndromes: a placebo-controlled double blind evaluation.” British Homeopathy Journal April 1998, Vol 87, 69–76.
  2. Ferley JP., et al. “A controlled evaluation of a homeopathic preparation in the treatment of influenza-like syndromes.” British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 1989, 27: 328–335.
  3. Centre de Recherche et de Documentation Technique,University of Marseilles,France, March 1985.
  4. Centre de Recherche et de Documentation Technique,University of Marseilles,France, April 1983.

About The Hartman Group: The Hartman Group, the predominant consumer consultancy, located in Bellevue, Washington, blends leading-edge customized primary qualitative, quantitative and trends research with a unique brand of analysis to understand the subtle complexities into how consumers live, shop and use brands, products and services. For more than 20 years, Hartman Group has been listening loudly to the underlying motivations and behaviors to deliver the most comprehensive insights that inform and inspire innovation, strategy and, most of all, move the needle for clients. For more: www.hartman-group.com.

About Boiron: Boiron, world leader in homeopathic medicines, is a $852 million public company with 3,700 employees and distribution in 59 countries. It is best known for Oscillococcinum®, a top-selling flu medicine, and its Arnicare® line of pain relievers. For more than 80 years, Boiron has been committed to funding scientific research and educating the public and healthcare professionals on homeopathic medicines. As a pharmaceutical company, Boiron maintains the highest standards in manufacturing, complying with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations, the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States and drug Good Manufacturing Practices.

Published: January, 2012