Will More Rxs Move to OTC or BTC?

Next week, the FDA has called a meeting to discuss moving more drugs to over-the-counter (OTC) or behind-the-counter (BTC) status. This means that you would no longer need a prescription.

What would this mean to us as a consumer:

  • No more need to meet with your physician to get a prescription (new, refill, or renewal).
    • Is this good or bad?
    • Will this drive more use of “Dr. Google”?
    • Will this create an opportunity for more use of home monitoring and home tests?
    • Will this drive screenings at clinics?
  • Many pharmacy plans don’t cover products that don’t require a prescription so this may change coverage rules.

Some of the drugs that have been proposed for discussion include:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Migranes
  • Allergies

At some point, we’ll just end up with a pharmacy benefit that focuses on specialty drugs. Everything else will be generic, OTC, or BTC.

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