Some of today’s most common used drugs don’t require a prescription for customers to be able to acquire them. Antihistamines and ibuprofen are perhaps some of the most popular over the counter drugs. To the list of drugs without prescription, the Food and Drug Administration is thinking to add several more. Under the proposal, patients with chronic diseases will have a more numerous variety of over the counter drugs at disposal.
With so many people today suffering from chronic diseases, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently taking into account what the public thinks of its proposal to turn more prescription drugs into over the counter drugs. The result of its strategy would allow patients that are suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes and high cholesterol an easier and faster way to get the required medication.
FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg explained: “There are discussions that need to start happening as we think about people’s health needs and how to improve access”. The commissioner emphasized the need to stay current with how fast the world is changing, and the matter at hand is that more and more patients need readily available medications that will be able to treat something else besides headaches and runny noses.
However, as beneficial as the FDA’s proposal might sound, experts cannot help to point out that adding to the list of over the counter drugs more complex medications might result in accidents that could have been avoidable. The main reason is that medication normally prescribed for diabetes patients require more information than the short info label on the back of headache drugs.
At the same time, other voices point out that the government should have acted earlier on this issue. These experts point out to the fact that there are a lot of patients today that won’t stay on the prescribed medication, or who simply prefer to take over the counter drugs as these are more accessible.
The FDA isn’t at its first attempt to add more medications to the over the counter drug list. It has already tried to make statins available without prescriptions. Janet Woodcock, head of the drug center division with the FDA, explained: “We’ve had several applications already to switch statins to over the counter, and they have failed because consumers can’t determine their lipid status”.