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Medicine Science

FDA May Let Patients Buy More Drugs Without Prescriptions 392

Hugh Pickens writes "The Washington Times reports that the Food and Drug Administration may soon permit Americans to obtain some drugs used to treat conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes without obtaining a prescription. They may allow patients to diagnose their ailments by answering questions online or at a pharmacy kiosk in order to buy current prescription-only drugs for conditions such as high cholesterol, certain infections, migraine headaches, asthma or allergies. Some pharmacists embrace the notion that they should be able to dole out medication for patients' chronic conditions without making them go through a doctor. 'This could eliminate the need for a physician visit for certain meds that may have been prescription prior to this change,' said Ronna Hauser, vice president of policy and regulatory affairs for the National Community Pharmacists Association. 'However, there may be circumstances when a patient might need a physician visit and diagnosis and original prescription to start therapy but could continue on that therapy with pharmacist refill authorization capabilities.'" (Read more, below.)
Hugh Pickens continues: "Medical providers at public hearings to obtain input on a new paradigm urge caution, saying the government should not try to cut health care costs by cutting out doctors. 'Patients rely on physicians to provide sound diagnosis and treatment information and to help them meet their unique health needs,' says Peter W. Carmel, President of the American Medical Association. 'Expanding many prescription medications to OTC interferes with that important relationship without offering any real benefits to improve patients' health or reduce their costs.'" Other countries seem to do fine with pharmacists being closer to the front line of medicine recommendations; why couldn't the U.S.?"
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FDA May Let Patients Buy More Drugs Without Prescriptions

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @12:19PM (#39930139)

    what's needed is a new, "basic doctor" type degree that has the power to prescribe most meds and monitor most medical conditions but doesn't 8-10 years of education and training costing the GDP of a small country.

  • by garcia (6573) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @12:48PM (#39930639)

    You do realize that long-term usage of high blood pressure medicines, especially at a young age like I started them at (22), can cause kidney damage and the blood tests are meant to find those issues before they become a huge problem.

    So, it's not unnecessary testing. It's just that the doctors are too lazy/cheap to order it. Why not force them to make certain any potential problems are mitigated before they become LARGE issues?

    You should thank me for enforcing preventative care instead of waiting for a kidney transplant.

  • by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @04:05PM (#39934029)

    Christ, man, how can you know they're illegal? Or even aliens?

    Well, the American College of Emergency Physicians seems to think so:

    In some hospitals, as much as two-thirds of total operating costs are for uncompensated care for illegal aliens. As a result, hundreds of emergency departments have closed. In Los Angeles, for example, 10 hospitals have closed in the past five years because of uncompensated care. []

The herd instinct among economists makes sheep look like independent thinkers.