Govt to come up with list of OTC drugs soon

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Nation - [email protected] times­

New Delhi: The gov­ern­ment is set to come up with a list of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines un­der a sep­a­rate sched­ule by mak­ing changes in the drug law with strin­gent reg­u­la­tions on qual­ity, ad­ver­tise­ment and pric­ing of such prod­ucts.

“The move is aimed at pro­mot­ing self-care and re­duc­ing the cost of treat­ment with­out com­pro­mis­ing pa­tient safety. It will also help us en­sure that ‘pre­scrip­tion-only’ drugs are not mis­used, while other com­monly used medicines which are not toxic are eas­ily avail­able to pa­tients,” a se­nior of­fi­cial told TOI.

The de­ci­sion to have sep­a­rate pro­vi­sion for OTC un­der the Drugs and Cos­met­ics Act was taken in a meet­ing of the Drugs Con­sul­ta­tive Com­mit­tee (DCC) un­der the health min­istry last month. DCC’s de­ci­sion is based on rec­om­men­da­tions of a sub-com­mit­tee formed ear­lier to ex­am­ine the is­sue. “The sub-com­mit­tee is of the opin­ion that there is an ur­gent need for defin­ing OTC drugs and to lay down spe­cific pro­vi­sions for the reg­u­la­tion of OTC drugs in the coun­try,” the DCC noted .

The DCC has di­rected the sub-com­mit­tee to iden­tify such list of OTC prod­ucts along with con­di­tions and frame draft for amend­ments in the law.

At present, there is no def­i­ni­tion of OTC medicines and there­fore, any medicine that is

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