Asthma and Allergy Foundation's poll finds state opposition to some “prescription-only” proposals
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Published: 10-Mar-2013

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) released a new poll with specific data in Oklahoma affirming views the group has previously advocated: patients nationwide, and in Oklahoma, strongly oppose proposed laws to change popular over-the-counter (OTC) medications to prescription-only (Rx) status. 

“It’s easy for AAFA to be on the patients’ side of this issue,” says Charlotte Collins, AAFA’s vice president of policy & programs. “The data shows us that patients already deal with the burdens of these chronic diseases, so adding restrictions on top of the burdens they already face would be a real problem. And, they know the best way to stop criminals involved in the illegal meth trade is through law enforcement and other proven methods, not by doctors’ prescriptions.”

More than 45 million Americans have nasal allergies, more than 22 million have asthma and more than 10 million have both. Respiratory diseases take a toll on public health, costing billions of dollars in direct medical expenses, reducing quality of life, lowering workplace and school performance, and can even be life-threatening to high-risk populations, such as asthma patients and seniors with other respiratory conditions.

Following AAFA’s first poll in 2010 showing that the majority of asthma, allergy, cold and flu patients opposed changing popular OTC medications to Rx status, the nonprofit patient organization worked with the Harris Interactive research organization to conduct a 2013 follow-up study. The results show that a majority (66 percent) of those surveyed still oppose Rx-only restrictions. Even in Oklahoma where AAFA and Harris oversampled to get state-specific data, a majority of patients (62 percent) oppose Rx-only laws.

 Nationally, two-thirds of respondents (64 percent) say they are managing medications for two or more people in their household – 71 percent in Oklahoma

Nationally, people surveyed deal with allergy symptoms for more than two months per year (69.5 days on average) – 91 days in Oklahoma

 Only one in five surveyed in the national study can get in to see their doctor the same day, with nearly one quarter (22 percent) having to wait more than a week to get an appointment – 20 percent in Oklahoma

Nationally, patients say that two in five (42 percent) of their visits to the doctor require time off of work, with one third (31 percent) saying that their doctor visits always take place during their work hours – in Oklahoma 42 percent say doctor visits always take place during work hours

When including drive time, waiting-room time and the visit itself, only one in five patients nationwide spend less than an hour when visiting the doctor, with nearly one third (30 percent) requiring two or more hours per visit; one in ten (nine percent) require three or more hours per visit – in Oklahoma, 34 percent require two or more hours

 The majority of patients in the national surveyed (59 percent) spend at least $20 per doctor visit, plus four of our five of them (82 percent) are also paying to fill prescriptions frequently or occasionally for themselves or family members – whereas in Oklahoma, 60 percent spend $20 per visit and 87 percent also occasionally or frequently pay for prescriptions. 

About the Survey: AAFA’s National Pseudoephedrine (PSE) Awareness Study was conducted online in January 2013 among more than 2,000 U.S. adults age 18+ who personally suffered from asthma, allergies, cold, cough or flu in the preceding 12 months and purchased non-prescription medications for at least one condition during that time. The poll was conducted for AAFA by Harris Interactive and was supported by a grant from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA). The study was conducted online and used Harris Interactive’s proprietary propensity weighting to ensure the online sample reflects general population trends. For a full copy of the survey report, and for other information, visit

About AAFA: The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), a not-for-profit organization founded in 1953, is a patient organization for people with asthma, allergies and related conditions. A statement form the group says, “AAFA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for patients through education, advocacy and research.” AAFA provides information, community based services and support through regional chapters, support groups and other local partners around the United States. 

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