Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How Come Some Drugs Otc & Other Medication Is Prescription

Prescription and OTC drugs are used to manage diseases.

Drugs, both prescription and over the counter (OTC), are substances used to manage disease from the early stages of diagnosis through treatment and extending to sickness prevention. Not all drugs, however, are regulated the same, and neither are they equally accessible.


Prescription drugs must be prescribed by a medical doctor, while OTC remedies have no such requirement. Both are available at a pharmacy; however, only OTC drugs may be purchased off the store shelves.


Prescription drugs are prescribed to an individual while OTC medicines are available to the masses. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates prescription drugs through a new drug application process. The same regulatory body also controls OTC drugs by assigning parameters for dosage, ingredients, formulas, and labeling.


Although OTC drugs are approved by the FDA, there are still risks associated with non-prescription medications, as such drugs can interact harmfully with other medicines, supplements, foods, or drinks, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. A health care provider or pharmacist should be consulted if you have any concerns.


The FDA may reclassify prescription drugs as having OTC status if certain criteria are met. For example, nicotine gum and patches were transitioned in 1996 from prescription products to having mainstream availability as OTC drugs.


Consumers spend hundreds of billions of dollars on prescription medications annually and only a fraction of that amount--approximately $20 billion as of 2005--on OTC drugs. According to the National Center on Policy Analysis, prescription drugs are, on average, 13 times more expensive than OTC products.

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