Looking at the administrative, legal, and safety hurdles that drug companies have to jump through today, I can’t help but feel (some, just a little) pity for them. I’m sure right now there’s a drug company executive waxing nostalgic over a bygone era where they could do some basic safety research, wine and dine a few physicians in their favorite tax haven, and then get their drug out there for public consumption. But times have changed, and getting FDA approval for medications is alot harder than it used to be. And unless your drug is a quasi-herbal supplemental type of thing made in someone’s back yard, getting the FDA to allow it over the counter is even harder. Here’s my list of the top 5 OTC meds that, if they had been released today, would require a prescription.
1. NSAIDS: (Aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc. . .) These medications are great for pain and for their blood thinning effect by blocking platelet function. But they are also great at eroding stomach lining leading to ulcers, causing kidney damage, reye’s syndrome, hearing problems, etc. . . Would this be allowed OTC by the FDA today? Heck no!