FDA Considers Making More Medications Available Over-The-Counter
April 3rd, 2012|
April 3, 2012
The United States is experiencing a problem of getting prescription medications to citizens who need them. While the reasons for the problem vary from drug shortages to rising costs, the Food and Drug Administration is asking for the public’s input on how it can solve the growing issue.
According to a press release issued by the agency, it’s considering making some prescription medications available over-the-counter. Some of the drugs may feature certain stipulations, such as discussing the medication with a pharmacist or passing a diagnostic test, but the goal is to make getting the medications into a patient’s hands easier.
Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, supported the measure by saying, “The rules for nonprescription status were established in an age when widespread access to information technology did not exist. The world is evolving. It’s clear there are now many interactive mechanisms that can help consumers through the process of self-diagnosis and medication selection in a much more comprehensive manner than a few words on a fact box.”
While experts agree that the cut in health care costs far outweigh the negative ramifications that can be solved through regulation, others feel the change could bring unforeseen problems with record keeping, patient diagnosis, and liability concerns.