FDA May Allow More Drugs to Be Obtained without Prescription
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  • Andrew Allison

    “The American Medical Association has also warned that costs may not decrease as much as the FDA thinks they will, because insurance companies usually do not cover over-the-counter medication.” . . . unless they are prescribed! AMA should not be allowed to get away with such blatant misdirection.

  • Richard S

    The trial lawyers might like this one, too. Buyer beware is long gone.

  • As I always point out on this topic we run our medical system in Australia for half what it costs as a percentage of GDP in the US and have better outcomes. The US system has huge structural inefficiencies, and few effective restraints. Good luck.

  • I hope birth control pills are on that list.

  • Jared

    I tend to disagree that this is a good thing. The idea of cost cutting is wonderful but some of these medications have serious adverse effects like statins for example. Other conditions like infection or asthma can be lethal if under diagnosed. Most allergy drugs are already over the counter and so are many migraine drugs.

    For a lot of these conditions doctors will give you year long prescriptions once properly diagnosed. Some of these drugs need to be monitored to assess kidney and liver function especially in the elderly.

    Again the cost cutting is essential and doctors have to realize their profession will ultimately suffer if they don’t work toward serious compromises. The AMA does have an agenda and part of that agenda is the well being of their patients. Bypassing doctors for these conditions is unwise. Who pays the mal-practice when the kiosk misses a life threatening case of asthma in your kid?

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    “There is no panacea for bringing down healthcare costs in America; one of the problems with Obamacare—indeed with blue model thinking in general—is the desire to turn to a single remedy in order to fix an infinitely complex system.”

    I disagree, the feedback of competition which makes capitalism work, would equally make Healthcare work. Continuous improvements in Quality, Service, and Price are hallmarks of free enterprise, and would make Healthcare the best it can be.

    We will know we have a Capitalist Healthcare system when Doctors and Medical Facilities are advertising their prices and competing for patients.

  • thibaud

    “one of the problems with Obamacare—indeed with blue model thinking in general—is the desire to turn to a single remedy in order to fix an infinitely complex system”

    Exactly backwards. First, the ACA bill is the opposite of uniformity and clarity. It is absurd to characterize this massive set of reforms at the margins as somehow a “single remedy.”

    By design, ACA is as complex and multifaceted as our kludgy non-system. The goal was to avoid the inevitable shift – which, ironically, will be driven now by US private-sector employers and probably Chief Justice Roberts’ majority opinion – toward some version of Medicare for all, achieved through tax reform.

    Another crude distortion in WRM’s odd comment: as other commenters have pointed out, many of ACA’s huge number of provisions comprise MARKET-based reforms designed to introduce choice and greater transparency into our current kludge’s needlessly complex, black-box pseudo-market.

    This is an interesting blog that ranges over a wide variety of important subjects, but the whole “blue model” meme again and again leads the author into some very weird and embarrassing distortions of reality.

    The US health insurance system is not complex the way, say, the capital markets are complex, or the internet behavior of ecommerce consumers is complex. The patterns of behavior in those markets are, while not easy to predict, fairly transparent and easily traced thanks to very high price transparency and reasonably efficient market behavior.

    By contrast, our health insurance kludge of a “system” offers next to no price transparency, layers upon layers of bureaucracy and gobbledygook that separate payers from transactors (providers and consumers), all of it overlaid by a nightmarish set of complex and contradictory rules accreted over generations thanks to multiple interventions resulting in political favors, giveaways to special interests, and half-hearted, stopgap measures.

    It’s pretty rich to accuse those of us seeking to replace this Frankenstein with a normal, logical model as being somehow guilty of not treasuring Frankie’s wondrous, infinite “complexity.”

  • I disagree with thibaud when he writes, “Another crude distortion in WRM’s odd comment . . .” Makes it sound like the old man is doing it on purpose. OTH he is certainly right when he says:

    “our health insurance kludge of a “system” offers next to no price transparency, layers upon layers of bureaucracy and gobbledygook that separate payers from transactors (providers and consumers), all of it overlaid by a nightmarish set of complex and contradictory rules accreted over generations thanks to multiple interventions resulting in political favors, giveaways to special interests, and half-hearted, stopgap measures.”

    When my wife and I were trying to choose which Medicare supplement to choose it made our heads spin. Worse than choosing a wireless plan.

  • John Burke

    I think this would be crazy. There probably are some drugs — eg, commonly used therapies for allergies — that might be sold over the counter. And there certainly is a lot of room to allow health care practitioners other than physicians to prescribe a wider range of widely used drugs for common complaints, especially nurse practitioners. But no one should be taking blood pressure medications without periodic cardiovascular checks, or taking statins or NSAIDs without blood
    screens to monitor effects on liver function, and so on. Crazy!

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