FDA Might Create A "Behind-The-Counter" Drug Category

Next Month, the FDA will hold a public meeting to discuss whether or not they should allow certain drugs to be sold “behind-the-counter”—that is, after consultation with a pharmacist, but without the need for a prescription. If they move ahead with the plan, a new BTC category will be created, although what drugs will fall under it have not been determined.

Several trade and professional groups support the idea, including the National Community Pharmacists Association and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. The FDA points out that pharmacists have the necessary training to educate consumers about how to use certain drugs, and that a BTC category would help people without health insurance gain access to certain medications.

The one huge down-side we can see to this: big pharma will start targeting pharmacists with freebies and samples to pass out to customers—we can imagine going to get a BTC drug in 2009 and being met by a pharmacist wearing more pieces of “Ask Me About [Drug Name]” flair than Jennifer Aniston’s nemesis at Chotchkie’s.

“FDA explores behind-the-counter drug sales” [Reuters]

“US FDA Considering ‘Behind-The-Counter’ Drug Status” [CNN Money]
(Photo: Getty)

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