The role and the social interest of the over the counter medicines
Luis Jimenez Herrera
Background over the counter medicines are products considered of social good that require proper management. Objetive the objective is to provide elements that encourage the continuous review of the list available of medicines under the over the counter medicines category. Methodology: from electronic sources, published articles related to the key words were identified, those documents necessary to develop this work in several sections were selected for convenience. Results: there are several denominations referring to the concept of over the counter medicines, such as non prescription, drugs of non medical use and behind the counter medicines. Those medicines represent significant sales, they can be purchased at several commercial establishments, including community pharmacies and the delivery rates vary from place to place. People must perform actions that involve handling, storage and use, which must be present to maintain the efficacy, quality and safety of the products. Due to the easy access of medications, people can practice self-medication for various conditions and which depending on social, cultural, economic, and political factors. Side effects (drowsiness, anxiety, tachycardia) or adverse reactions (bleeding, miscarriage), poisoning or even death can occur at any time, also the use of over the counter medicines can delay the cure or complicate some particular situations. Interdisciplinary (medicine, pharmacy, social work) and inter-sectoral (pharmaceutical companies, authorities, social media, mass media, communities) work, education for health, research and monitoring of this social phenomenon is required. Conclusions Although over the counter medicines seek to facilitate the well-being of people at an apparently lower economic cost, their social role seems to be distorted due to commercial practices that place the drug as a consumer good that puts people at risk of deteriorating their status of health. It is necessary to improve mechanisms helping the adequate use of over the counter medicines.