"FDA Mulls Making Key Prescription Drugs Available Over-the-Counter
A number of widely used prescription drugs could be sold over-the-counter under a new proposal being considered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The agency is thinking about eliminating prescription requirements for certain drugs used to treat such conditions as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, asthma and migraine, the Associated Press reported.
FDA officials said making it easier for patients to obtain these medications could help tackle undertreated health epidemics such as diabetes, which is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke.
More than 25 million Americans have diabetes, but about 7 million have not been diagnosed and therefore do not receive treatment.
The move to make certain prescription medications available over-the-counter is being driven by computer technology, such as touch-screen kiosks in pharmacies, which helps patients self-diagnose common diseases, according to the AP.
It's one of several FDA proposals meant to improve patient access to established drugs or to accelerate approval of experimental medications.
"These are discussions that need to start happening as we think about people's health needs and how to improve access," said FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the AP reported."
Gee, I wonder if the drug companies are anxious to see prescription meds become more widely available!!!! Talk about a bad idea.
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