The demand for over-the-counter medicines has increased significantly compared to the pre-pandemic period, while growing cost-sensitivity has led some consumers to turn to unbranded products, reports Világgazdaság.
Since 2019, the number of people who see medicine as a key to improving their health has increased significantly by 10 percent, according to an analysis by media agency Dentsu. At the same time, the number of cost-sensitive people seeking the cheapest medicines possible has risen by eight percent.
The number of people who use only medicines prescribed by a doctor remained stable, while the number of people who buy only over-the-counter medicines increased by 7.5 percent.
The number of people relying only on natural remedies has fallen by 13 percent since the COVID pandemic broke out, and the number of people taking preventive medicines has also fallen by eight percent.
Alternative medicine is also available in Hungary, with many homeopathic remedies available. Photo via Pixabay
The analysis looks at attitudes towards each category of medicine for each of the countries covered, the expected changes in health-related spending in the coming years, the affinity for health advertising, and details the explosion in e-health (online pharmacies, telemedicine, smart health tools and apps, etc.). It also summarizes a number of relevant health-related statistics for the countries in the region.
While the consumption patterns of the Hungarian population are broadly in line with the regional average, the study has found significant differences in a number of other areas. Some examples include:
- Hungarians are the least receptive to health advertisements in the region, with only 32% of Hungarians interested in such advertisements, compared to the regional average of 40%.
- Only 10 percent of the Hungarian population owns some kind of smart health device and only three to four percent use them on a daily basis. In three years’ time, this proportion is expected to reach 36%, while 46% of Czechs, and 44% of Poles will have such devices.
- Only 26% of Hungarians regularly talk to their loved ones about health and medical issues, while Slovenes (60%) and Croats (56%) are the most open to this.
- On a positive note, the use of antibiotics in Hungary is less than half that of the most active countries in this field, Romania and Bulgaria.
Although health spending in the countries of the region continues to lag far behind Western European levels, more leisure time and gradually increasing financial resources will also boost the role of health in everyday life in these countries by the end of the decade.
An important conclusion of the study is that brands should adopt a more health-centered approach in this context. Whether it is offering products or services that provide physical or mental health benefits relevant to consumers, or even developing systems that positively influence the health of employees.
Currently, there is no government program or strategy in Hungary to improve mental health of people and to develop mental health care. However, regarding education, the mental health of youth is centrally regulated in a government regulation
, requiring the mandatory integration of comprehensive health development into the educational program, including numerous topics related to improving the mental health of children and adolescents.
On a positive note, the importance of mental health is an increasingly common theme in Hungary as well and it is no longer ignored by employers. There is a growing number of companies employing workplace psychologists, giving presentations, offering coaching, or contributing to the well-being of employees by providing time off to protect mental health.
Via Világgazdaság, Featured image via Pexels