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FDA Weighs Over-the-Counter Switch For Key Drugs

Some of the most widely used prescription drugs, including those to treat cholesterol and high blood pressure, could be available over-the-counter under a new proposal under consideration by government regulators.

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Food and Drug Administration officials said Wednesday they are considering waiving prescription requirements for a range of drugs for ailments like diabetes, asthma and migraine. Driving the move is a wave of computer technology, including touch-screen kiosks found in pharmacies, designed to help patients self-diagnose common diseases.

FDA regulators told reporters that lowering the bar to obtain certain medications could help address epidemics like diabetes, which affects more than 25 million Americans. The agency would still require studies to prove that consumers can diagnose and take the medication.

The FDA plans a public meeting on the proposal later this month.

 

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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