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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 28-34

Over-the-counter medicines: Global perspective and Indian scenario


1 Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
2 Behavioral Neuroscience Group, Department of Psychology, University of Tasmania, Australia

Correspondence Address:
S K Kamat
Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jpgm.JPGM_381_19

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Patients often approach a pharmacist instead of visiting a doctor for minor ailments such as cough, cold, allergies, pain, fever, acidity, diarrhea, and skin-related conditions. Purchase of specific medicines over the counter is legally recognized in most countries. 'Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicines' means drugs which are legally allowed to be sold by pharmacists without need for a prescription. The term does not have a legal definition in India. Technically, drugs are OTC unless they are specifically stated as prescription only drugs. OTC drugs allow faster and cheaper access to healthcare; however, their misuse and adverse health effects cause concerns. This article describes concept of OTC medicines and practices in India against the background of globally prevalent regulations and practices. A recognized category of OTC medicines by law, patient awareness programs, and support of pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies are required to optimize the use of OTC medicines in India.






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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow