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When a prescription medicine becomes over-the-counter medicine...Does this mean savings for the consumer?


Asked by Anonymous at 9:56 AM on Aug. 18, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (4)
  • I say Yes and No too!! If you don't have insurance - over the counter will probably be a better option. But then again, if you can't afford insurance will you be able to afford the over the counter medication? We couldn't afford Claritin for my allergies once it was no longer a prescription. I am sure it was a great option for those who only needed it a few times - but if you have to take it on a daily basis - that is $365 a year!

    Answer by micheledo at 10:08 AM on Aug. 18, 2009

  • yes and no. generic prescriptions of things like prilosec and claritin are only $4 at Walmart but the OTC products are more. by the time you spend money on your insurance premiums, your copays and time in the doctors office for a prescription though you have spent more than what the OTC product would be. depends on how you look at it.
    and depending on how long the patent for the original drug will be good for, the drug company will simply come out with a new improved version and the doctors will start prescribing that.
    like Prilosec, when the patent expired Nexium was introduced and now all you see is Nexium commercials and none for Prilosec. they are almost the same drug with the exact same drug indications.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 10:03 AM on Aug. 18, 2009

  • I think the price becomes more affordable when a prescription drug becomes OTC or generic, BUT I also think in MANY cases, the strength of the OTC or generic brand is not as effective as the prescription strength.

    So, while you may save money, are you really treating your illness/injury/condition effectively and efficiently?

    Answer by LoriKeet at 10:15 AM on Aug. 18, 2009

  • by federal law, the OTC medication has to indicate the dosage and/or strength ( mg. ) and that is where you compare it to the previous prescription strength. I think the commercials are also required to show a website address or phone number where info can be obtained prior to purchase so that comparisons can be made in the dosages. if an OTC product becomes available and it is not prescription dosage strength, it must by federal law state that on the box.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 10:30 AM on Aug. 18, 2009