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Chemistry Over The Counter: Is It Just What The Doctor Ordered?

nd instantly is the ease with which drugs, even the ones that require a prescription are available over the counter. Pharmacists sometimes double up as doctors and offer medicines; enabling prescription drugs without a prescription is undoubtedly a violation of the law, but a mutual understanding between the chemist and consumers allows this practice to thrive, encouraging indiscriminate use of drugs and self-medication.

Self-medication is a growing evil that has to be uprooted. It is estimated that 37% in urban India and 17% in rural population are in the throes of this malady. The easy reach of drugs such as crocin, rantac, gelucil, saridon, anacin, nice, avil, brufen, paracetamol, antidiarrheals plus cold medicines, has enhanced the sales of these drugs in India. Banned drugs such as anlagen, brufen, Anacin, are sold unchecked, raising concern amongst the medical community. Phenylpropanolamine (PPA), finds itself in many medical mixtures in India, but was banned in the US. Chloramphenicol, used as a last resort during life and death situations, makes up about 11% of antibiotic use, and is still one of the popular antibiotics available over the counter without a prescription.

Another drug that has stirred the hornets nest incessantly is the worldwide banned non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) Nimesulide A, with anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic effects. Nimesulide, dynamically propagated in India, has raked up a controversy in recent years, with nearly 17 adverse drug reactions. In spite of the abuse and misuse of Nimesulide, causing death of children, the Drug Controller of India thought it befitting to restrict the action to a mere probe, while other countries ordered a ban on this drug. Sadly, this drug is still available over the counter.

The Heady Mix

India manufactures psychotropic drugs for medicinal purposes, and many of these drugs are easily available without an authentic prescription
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