Empowering Europe's Health: The Vital Role of Self-Care

Europe's healthcare systems are fragmented and face several problems. Self-care is an important pillar for advancing public health and the sustainability of healthcare systems


AESGP is the voice of the manufacturers of non-prescription medicines, food supplements, and self-care medical devices in Europe, an area also referred to as “self-care” or “consumer healthcare” products.

03 Apr 2024

Self-Care Is Not Just a Concept; It Is an Action 

Self-Care is what we do to be and stay healthy. It is eating properly, exercising, and getting enough rest. It is also the pain reliever for a headache, the eye drops for lubrication, the band-aid for a cut, or the winter vitamins to boost your immune system and help it fight off infections. And it is also turning to your pharmacist or doctor for advice or knowing where to look for reliable information online when you have questions about your health.  

For over six decades, the Association of the European Self-Care Industry (AESGP) has been at the forefront of promoting self-care in Europe, representing the solutions brought by non-prescription medicines, self-care medical devices, and food supplements manufacturers. We partner with a wide range of stakeholders, including consumers, regulators, healthcare professionals, and policy makers to: 

  • Ensure continuous access to a wide range of safe, effective and sustainable self-care products.  

  • Provide healthcare professionals with reliable product information. 

  • Promote health literacy for people to make more informed choices. 

  • Drive innovation in self-care, including new digital tools, to assist everyone in their healthcare journey. 


The Economic and Social Value of Self-Care 

Recent findings1 highlight the substantial economic and social benefits of self-care.  

  • Empowerment: Self-care empowers people to take an active role in their health, promoting autonomy and well-being. Currently in Europe,1.2 billion cases of minor ailments are self-managed each year by use of non-prescription medicines. 

  • Economic Savings: Today, self-care saves more than €36 billion annually of healthcare expenditure otherwise borne by patients and health systems. Expanding self-care could increase savings to more than €54 billion every year. 

  • Healthcare Sustainability: By alleviating the number of consultations, self-care grants general doctors (GPs) more time for complex medical cases. Without self-care, an additional 120,000 doctors would be needed in Europe, or each would have to work an extra 2.4 hours every day. 

Ensuring a Healthier Future for All 

People expect the healthcare system to be there for them when they need it but rising costs and greater demand make this increasingly difficult. Self-care helps reduce the pressure on the entire system and is an integral part of a strategy that includes health promotion and disease prevention in Europe. 

As we celebrate our 60th anniversary in 2024, AESGP remains committed to fostering a health policy that empowers people and strengthens healthcare systems.  


1. Cosima Bauer M.A., Prof. Dr. Uwe May, Chiara Giulini-Limbach M.Sc., Anissa Schneider-Ziebe, M.Sc., Thien-Kim Pham B.Pharm M.Sc., “Self-Care in Europe: Economic and Social Impact on Individuals and Society”, May und Bauer – Konzepte im Gesundheitsmarkt GbR, February 2021.