Thursday, December 29, 2005

As we move more and more drugs OTC, China goes the other way.
PEOPLE trying to buy prescription drugs in the city will actually have to show their prescription or medical report to the pharmacists starting on Sunday, as the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration tries to strengthen oversight of medication sales.

China only began dividing medications into prescribed and over-the-counter drugs in 2000. Currently, people can buy almost any prescription drug simply by leaving their names and phone numbers with the pharmacist.

The new system is being set up as a one-year pilot program.

National authorities are calling on all local governments to tighten controls on prescribed drugs, but giving them room to create their own policies.

"Prescribed medicines account for 75 percent of all drugs sold in China, but they account for more than 97 percent of reported adverse reactions," said Lan Fen from the State Food and Drug Administration. "About 41.2 percent of bad reactions are caused by improper use of antibiotics."
Not to mention the impact of all those antibiotics on drug resistance.