Wednesday, October 31, 2007

FDA proposes new class of medicines

This is an old article, but I thought it was interesting to see that the FDA is considering a "behind the counter" status, much as we have in Canada.

From the Dallas Morning News:
Physicians might be losing their lock on Americans' medicine cabinets.

For years, consumers either showed up at the drugstore with a doctor's prescription or settled for less powerful medications sold over the counter.

Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering creating a class of medicines dubbed "behind the counter." It would let consumers buy routine medicines that could include birth control pills, cholesterol drugs and migraine medicine without a prescription – as long as they discuss it with a pharmacist first.

Pharmacists and drug companies like the idea; doctors think it's dangerous. If approved, the new drug classification could go into effect as early as next year.

"We believe having certain drugs behind the counter but available only after a consultation with a pharmacist could significantly increase patient access," said Ilisa Bernstein, the FDA's director of pharmacy affairs. ...more

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