Thursday, September 29, 2005

OTC Triptans

This brief editorial on the proposed POM 2 P switch of triptans is from The Lancet Neurology

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Interview in Pharmacy Magazine

John was recently interviewed by Pharmacy Magazine for an article on switching medicines from POM 2 P.

Click on the picture enlarge it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Canada considering medicines deregulation

In a thoughtful essay Lynd et al, from Vancouver, present some interesting points.

Governments in several countries, including the UK, and in a few provinces in Canada are considering reclassifying some drugs from prescription to over-the-counter status. In a CMAJ essay, Lynd and colleagues comment on the economic effects of such changes.

The drugs being considered are used in a wide variety of chronic diseases. They include proton pump inhibitors, beta-blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, inhaled corticosteroids, short and long-acting B2 agonists, bisphosphonates and oral contraceptives.

In the UK, 100 drugs are on the RPSGBs' list for conversion to over-the-counter status. In Ontario, 8 of these drugs account for $540 million (27%) of the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan budget. In BC, 49 of these drugs account for $266 million (44%) of total Pharmacare drug expenditures.

If the medicines were deregulated to behind-the-counter status (No Public Access), pharmacists would not just dispense medications, they would have a clinical and consultative role. Visits to physicians for routine control of chronic diseases might also decline.

For those interested in the UK situation see this article, from last year (when I was at Bradford University). Since then a number of POM to P switches have "gone public", including: simvastatin tablets and chloramphenicol eye drops.

In the MHRAs' approval pipline are: trimethoprim tablets, triptans, topical steroids and topical treatment for fungal nail infections.

See also this important BMA report on OTC medications (co-written by Alison).$file/OTC.pdf

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Alison and I plan to update our blog with information that we hope you will find interesting and helpful. We welcome your feedback.

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