Last Updated on January 21, 2022 by The Health Master
As part of a new over-the-counter (OTC) policy for drugs, India will soon allow the sale of certain drugs without the requirement of a prescription.
A senior government official said the Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), the government’s top advisory body on drugs, has approved the new policy and a draft notification will soon be issued by the health ministry.
The DTAB has approved a list of OTC drugs that includes medicines like:
- Antifungal infections,
- Analgesics (pain killers),
- Cough syrups,
- Medicines for gum infections.
“The aim is to reduce treatment costs and also promote self-care without compromising safety, ” added the official.
Unlike other countries like the US, UK, or China, India does not have a policy framework to support and regulate the distribution, marketing, and consumption of OTC drugs.
This is despite the fact that commonly used medicines for coughs and colds, as well as contraceptives, are sold over the counter.
Neither the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 nor the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 (D&C) defines OTC medicines.
Officials told that the list of over-the-counter drugs has been shortlisted, based on evidence of their safety, availability, and non-habit forming nature.
Once the final notification comes into effect, pharmacists will be able to dispense drugs for minor conditions without a doctor’s prescription.
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