"Behind the counter" non prescription meds considered

The FDA is looking at establishing a new category of drugs known as "behind the counter" which won't require a prescription but also, won't go out unless a pharmacist is involved. Before a patient could get one of these drugs, pharmacists would have to make sure that customers meet drug criteria. Pharmacists would also instruct patients on using the drug.

This idea has been in the air since 1985, when the American Society of Health System Pharmacists suggested the creation of an "intermediary" drug class.

However, before it moves in this direction, the FDA will want to review the effect BTC drugs might have on patient access, the role of pharmacists and other clinicians in the process, and whether BTC drugs should shift over to being prescription drugs if safety issues are discovered.

To learn more about the FDA's plans:
- read this Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report item

Related article:
- FDA mulls behind-the-counter drug sales. Report

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