CHPA supports the key role branding plays in consumers' self-care selections; however, there is no replacement for reading and understanding the Drug Facts label or Supplement Fact label on over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements.

Brands play a key role in assisting consumer purchasing decisions by identifying the source of different products as known and trusted, or what economists refer to as search efficiency. Brands are the principal repository of good will that enable a company to distinguish its products from those offered by others. The importance of brands is recognized by legislation in many countries which provide intellectual property protection of a brand name through trademark registration. Further, the value and trust consumers place in brands are incentives for companies to preserve the goodwill attached to a brand and to maintain a standard of quality for products bearing that brand name.

The start-up costs of producing a memorable brand name are high and it is for this reason that brand name line extensions are valuable for both companies and consumers. When a customer is in a store aisle looking at potentially hundreds of products, familiarity with known brands acts as a short cut to speed up and narrow the decision-making process. Undue restrictions on OTC medicine brand name line extensions may result in un-patterned and disorganized products, which may cause confusion among consumers and create a burden on the OTC medicine purchaser.

The brand name of a medicine or supplement is an initial step of consumer recognition and selection. There is no substitute for reading the label. OTC medicine labels must and do contain all of the information needed for safe and effective use by consumers without the intervention of a healthcare professions. Consumers should always read the Drug Facts or Supplement Fact label when choosing and using a medicine or dietary supplement, and they should always consult their doctor if they have questions regarding a Drug Facts or Supplement Fact label.

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