Don’t Take Drugs Lighty, French Consumers Warned. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 012 (1991)
(1991; 1 page)


Recent studies have shown that French people over-consume drugs. Their consumption is three times higher than Americans and double that of Germans. However, this article states that 81% of the French say they only take drugs when they are ill, meaning that they underestimate their own consumption. The French have access to a wide variety of drugs but their adherence to drug regimens is poor. In order to raise awareness of this problem and promote critical consumption of drugs, a major public education campaign was started by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Solidarity, the National Health Insurance Fund and French Committee for Health Education. The message “a drug is not something to be taken lightly” was diffused through several types of media, as inserts in journals, and as direct information to doctors and pharmacists. Health professionals were also given materials such as small posters and leaflets to hand out to patients. The article explains that decentralizing the campaign is key to a lasting effect, thus the campaign is working at a local level to promote its main messages. The French media noted that the campaign focuses on consumers rather than prescribers, when in many cases the prescriber has control over how many drugs a consumer will take.

Abstract written by M. Tobin, 2013.

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