Saturday, August 04, 2012
By: Daniel C. Mizzi
[NaturalNews] The FDA is considering a new prescription program also referred to as the “New Paradigm” that would enable certain prescription drugs to be available without a prescription if they met certain criteria that ensured “conditions of safe use.” The program would involve a variety of medications that treat so-called “common conditions” (i.e. hypertension, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, migraine headaches, asthma, flu, allergies, smoking cessation etc.) The FDA’s apparent rationale behind this proposal is based on evidence from the National Journal that shows that people in the U.S. have poor medication adherence due to a variety of factors (i.e. costs, time, need for multiple physician visits, lack of a prescription drug plan and so on) that ultimately hamper the prescription and medication renewal processes. In addition, the FDA believes that these factors dissuade people from taking potentially lifesaving medications which further contributes to the under-treatment of common medical conditions.
Suggested Methods to Implement the New Prescription Paradigm
Although the FDA has not yet decided how to expand access of certain prescription medications, one key element of their proposal surrounds a pharmacist-driven patient care program that would likely involve patient counseling, patient monitoring, drug interaction prevention and simple diagnostic testing. Another element of the proposal, suggested by the FDA, may involve having a physician prepare the initial prescription for the medication with subsequent access to the medication without a prescription if “conditions of safe use” are met. Lastly, the FDA believes various technologies like pharmacy-based kiosks or internet based questionnaires may help support their proposal by helping patients properly self-diagnose and select the appropriate medication(s) for their condition(s).