Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs

Drugs are termed as Branded Drugs, Generic Drugs, Pseudo generics, OTC drugs; prescription drugs etc depend at their marketing type, distribution type, original type, availability for sale type etc.

When a medicine is available for sale at medical stores and pharmacies without prescription of registered medical practitioner is known as Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs. These are considered as safe and effective for use of common person without consultation of healthcare profession.

Over the counter drugs are generally use for small illness and conditions like minor aches and pains, fever, diarrhoea, cold symptoms, sore throat, and allergies etc.

In India, there are requirement of retail drug license under drug and cosmetic act & rules for selling OTC drugs. Only pharmacy and medical stores are allowed to sell OTC drugs in India. In some countries like USA, UK there is no requirement of any license to sell some OTC drugs.

In UK, medicine fall under three categories i.e. Prescription only, Pharmacy medicines and general sales list. Prescription only is sold at prescription by pharmacist. Pharmacy medicines are medicines which can be sold out by pharmacist without prescription and general sales list includes medicines which could be sold out anywhere including super market.

But In India, there are list of prescription drugs are available but list of non prescription drugs are not available which is confusing for healthcare professionals which drugs are to be sold under OTC drugs and which are not.

There are lack of clearance between OTC drugs and prescription drugs. Generally schedule H, H1 and schedule X drugs are considered as prescription drugs in India. Remaining is considered as non prescription drugs. Certain medicines fall under schedule C and C1, Schedule G and other schedule drugs are dangerous to take except under medical supervision. Sometimes a product contains more than one molecule (fixed dosage combinations) which may fall under different schedules which makes differentiation become more difficult.

In November 2016, India’s drug regulator announced it was creating a definition for OTC medicines. This change will create some much-needed clarity around which medicines are safe for general purchase. But still the needed definition had not been enacted.

Hope above information is helpful to you...
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