Carmel: OTC Medications Interfere With Doctor-Patient Relationship

 In USA Today (5/7), Peter W. Carmel, president of the American Medical Association, expresses skepticism about the Food and Drug Administration’s “new concept to make more prescription drugs available over the counter (OTC),” noting that his organization “is concerned about patients taking certain drugs without physician involvement – especially patients with chronic diseases.” Carmel argues, “Patients rely on physicians to provide sound diagnosis and treatment information and to help them meet their unique health needs. Expanding many prescription medications to OTC interferes with that important relationship without offering any real benefits to improve patients’ health or reduce their costs.”

        USAToday Touts FDA System. USA Today (5/7) editorializes that “people get better care when they see doctors,” and the FDA would “have to ensure that a new system wasn’t used by drugmakers to promote easier access to drugs that are new to the market, have severe side effects or are prone to abuse.” The piece argues, “But for Americans with serious but controllable conditions who get no medication or fail to keep up with prescriptions, a little more flexibility could be just what the doctor ordered.”