People come to me wanting to be medicated and thus treated for the conditions they have.  This is the nature of my profession, at least as the public presently perceives it.

They expect it to be done immediately.

“I have got to know what medications you are on first.” Read more on Medicine In The Age of Information…

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Why would a pharmaceutical manufacturer want to change a drug from prescription to over the counter (OTC)?

Well, one thing I’ve learned in my lifetime is – When the Question is “WHY?” then the answer is “MONEY.”

Prescription Drugs Go Over The CounterIn this case, the most obvious reason is more money for pharmaceutical companies.  I certainly cannot think of anything — I mean any way shape or form — that can benefit patients.

Oh, sure – in our economically-ignorant country, many people think – “Whee!  I can buy any drug I want without spending money on a doctor’s appointment and without having to get a prescription! ”

These people are prime candidates for the Darwin Awards.

Yes, believe it or not, the “RX to OTC Switch” can actually HURT patients.

Drug patents expire relatively quickly, competitors are waiting at the gates with generic equivalents, and when a drug becomes OTC, there is a chance that insurance does not cover it.

This makes insurance companies and government programs (Medicare, Medicaid/Medi-Cal, etc.) very happy.  They are so strapped for cash that even paying for a cheaper generic is a strain on the budget.  When this kind of money is involved, you can bet that lobbyists are pressuring the government to ease their restrictions so that drugs once considered risky enough to warrant a prescription so that not just anybody can have access will be available to anyone who can walk into a drug store or click on a shopping cart on the web.

Patients will have to pay for OTC meds in cash money and doctors usually do not bother prescribing an equivalent drug.  If they do not already know of an equivalent, they will probably — and generally do — just tell a patient to go buy it over the counter.

A patient who cannot afford the drug will go off it.

OK – so what’s the big deal if a cold medicine, allergy remedy or hair-restoring pill is no longer a prescription drug?

Read more on When Prescription Drugs Go Over-The-Counter…

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There are actually people in southern California who complain about the winter. You have to get your jacket out of storage. It gets dark too early, but luckily some people start their night lives earlier.

coughingThere are flus and there are coughs.

There is cough syrup.

When I was in grade school, the only cough syrup our kindly family practitioner could give was something with codeine. I was a sick little girl who seemed to be allergic to everything she touched, so I got a little of some kind of precious substance when the winter snows hit New England, and my respiratory system remained intact with that little bit of codeine.

Read more on Over The Counter Doesn’t Mean “Safe”…

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