Survey reveals GP indigestion and heartburn pressures
Research by Doctors.net.uk and OTC Bulletin has revealed that GPs' waiting rooms are being kept busy due to a steady influx of patients suffering from indigestion and heartburn.
The survey found that 88% of GPs see patients suffering from these conditions several times a week – and that 37% see these patients on a daily basis.
Half of the GPs surveyed appealed to over-the-counter (OTC) medicine manufacturers to provide more evidence-based information which will help inform them about which products to recommend to patients. A similar number of GPs also suggested that their surgery does not receive enough information for patients, for example explanatory and self-care leaflets that can be placed in waiting rooms.
Of those surveyed, some 44% of GPs advise patients to purchase OTC products, with the most popular recommendations being Gaviscon, Rennie and Zantac 75. Around 79% of those GPs who recommended OTC products said they recommend an antacid, with alginates the second most popular option (64%).
Simon Grime, head of healthcare at Doctors.net.uk, said: "Indigestion and heartburn account for a significant proportion of GPs' workload, with over a third seeing patients with these conditions every day.
"The survey revealed that GPs have a propensity to recommend OTC products and that manufacturers need to acknowledge the significant demand from GPs for efficacy and side-effects information."