Forget chemists! In a first, govt mulling putting medicines in general stores with new OTC drug policy - Hindustan Times
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Forget chemists! In a first, govt mulling putting medicines in general stores with new OTC drug policy

Apr 18, 2024 02:15 PM IST

A committee is discussing whether to make medicines available in general stores in India. List for new OTC policy has been submitted.

How many times have you thought about how convenient it would be to be able to buy common medicines at a store near you rather than having to go to a proper pharma store a bit farther off? Probably, as many times as you had to buy any medicine. And that applies to the aged even more. Considering that common medicines are the most in demand and everyone has to frequently visit chemists stores, the actual buying becomes such a chore, eating up precious time and effort that people can ill afford. And if you are the one who is suffering from some common ailment the process begins to acquire even more negative connotations. You could, of course, get medicines delivered by the chemist stores, but not everyone prefers that and often there are inconveniences attached to it. In some areas, this service is not available at all. Well, things may be about to change.

Medicines may well be made available at a general store near you if the committee finds favourable reasons to do so.
Medicines may well be made available at a general store near you if the committee finds favourable reasons to do so.

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Notably, in a first, the government is actually moving to make certain changes about the availability of medicines as close to the buyer as possible. You may not have to make that trip to the chemist soon to buy simple medicines.

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The government is actually mulling allowing common medicines to be available in general stories too, according to a ToI report. The whole exercise has already acquired quite a momentum with the appointment of a committee to oversee the pros and cons and then give a recommendation. Actually, the panel has been tasked to formulate an over-the-counter (OTC) drug policy for India. This is being especially looked at for areas rural areas where medicines are not easily accessible.

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And no, it will not include any sensitive medicines. It will cover medicines like antacids, fever dampeners, cough and cold drugs and so on. These will be medicines that do not require a doctor’s prescription.

The idea is stemming from the fact that quite a few countries, including the US, allow grocery stores to offer these common medicines.

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It has been reported that the panel has already submitted a list of medicines and a meeting was held recently to go through it and see if it requires any changes to be made.

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