The overall goal of this exploratory study was to assess physicians' attitudes toward the prescription-to-nonprescription (Rx-to-OX) switching of drug products, consumer self-medication, and prescribing of switched products; to assess physicians' perceptions of the impact of switching on patient visits, on practice, and on existing prescribing behavior; and to determine the differences in physicians' attitudes and perceptions on the basis of selected demographic, practice, and prescribing characteristics. Additionally, the role of physicians' attitudes in influencing their overall iudment of the arooriateness of switching three wtential switch can'iidates-nystati'n', fiomethazine, and te&enadii&was assessed. Data were collected from 181 randomly selected West Xrginia physicians using a mail questionnaire. results indicated that, o v d l, physicians had a negative attitude toward Rx-to-OTC switching of drug products, consumer self-medication, and prescribing of switched drug products. General Jfamily practitioners were more inclined to stop prescribing a drug product if it was switched from Rx-to-(TTC than specialist physicians. Physicians who see a large number of patients per day or write a large number of prescriptions per day are also more likely to stop prescribing a drug product if it is switched than physicians who see a small number of patients per day or write a small number of prescriptions per day. Nonprescribers of OTC and Rx-to-OTC switched products had significantly less favorable attitudes toward Rx-to-OTC switching of drug products, consumer self-medication, and prescribing of switched drug products. More experienced physicians had less favorable attitudes toward Rx-to-OTC switching and consumer self-medication and were less likely to prescribe switched drug products. About 35% of the respondents either favored or opposed OTC status for all 3 potential switch candidates. Results of the discriminant analysis indicated that attitudinal factors best distinguished between physicians who favored and physicians who opposed OTC status for the three potential switch candidates.