Thursday, March 08, 2012

FDA Weighs Expanding Access to Medications -

WASHINGTON—The Food and Drug Administration is considering making a wider range of drugs available over-the-counter instead of by prescription as it tries to expand access to medications.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg and Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's center for drugs, stressed that the ideas still are in the formative stages.

"We're trying to get feedback from various stakeholders," Dr. Hamburg told reporters Wednesday, about "how to improve access" to a wider range of drugs.

Dr. Woodcock said that certain over-the-counter drugs might be made available to patients without a prescription if the patient works closely with a pharmacist to ensure the medication is used correctly. One example she cited was blood-pressure drugs for patients who need the medicines to manage their condition and aren't suffering from acutely high blood pressure. The FDA plans a public meeting on the topic later this month.

Posted via email from Jack's posterous

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