Nonprescription Drugs: Considerations Regarding a Behind-the-Counter Drug Class

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In the United States, most nonprescription drugs are available over-the-counter (OTC) in pharmacies and other stores. Experts have suggested that drug availability could be increased by establishing an additional class of nonprescription drugs that would be held behind the counter (BTC) but would require the intervention of a pharmacist before being dispensed; a similar class of drugs exists in many other countries. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not developed a detailed proposal for a BTC drug class, it held a public meeting in ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. February 20, 2009.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In the United States, most nonprescription drugs are available over-the-counter (OTC) in pharmacies and other stores. Experts have suggested that drug availability could be increased by establishing an additional class of nonprescription drugs that would be held behind the counter (BTC) but would require the intervention of a pharmacist before being dispensed; a similar class of drugs exists in many other countries. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not developed a detailed proposal for a BTC drug class, it held a public meeting in 2007 to explore the public health implications of BTC drug availability. GAO was asked to update its 1995 report, Nonprescription Drugs: Value of a Pharmacist-Controlled Class Has Yet to Be Demonstrated (GAO/PEMD-95-12). Specifically, GAO is reporting on (1) arguments supporting and opposing a U.S. BTC drug class, (2) changes in drug availability in five countries since 1995 and the impact of restricted nonprescription classes on availability, and (3) issues important to the establishment of a BTC drug class. GAO reviewed documents and consulted with pharmaceutical experts. To examine drug availability across countries, GAO studied five countries it had reported on in 1995 (Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and determined how 86 drugs available in all five countries were classified in each country."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • February 20, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Nonprescription Drugs: Considerations Regarding a Behind-the-Counter Drug Class, report, February 20, 2009; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc298844/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.