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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Drug Info J 1985 Apr;19(2):119-26

RX-TO-OTC Switch--The Process and Procedures

Wion AH


Most people know that there are two main categories of drugs: (1) drugs that can be bought only if prescribed by a licensed practitioner, and (2) drugs that can be purchased ¿over the counter,¿ without a prescription. Yet most people know very little about the process for determining whether a drug will be prescription or OTC or about the procedures for switching a drug from Rx-to-OTC status. Public attention has been focused on the switch procedures within the last 2 years primarily because of controversies surrounding the OTC availability of metaproterenol as a bronchodilator and of ibuprofen as an analgesic. A discussion of the statutory scheme and the FDA's established procedures may help to remove some of the confusion that seems to surround the essentially uncomplicated switch process.

Category: Journal Article
DOI: 10.1177/009286158501900207
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Women's Health
Entry Created: 2012-11-03