Just a simple vanilla blog site from a physician

Follow me on this carefully and add your thoughts. Treat this as an out-of-the box thought game than something being advocated. 
 
What would medicine be like if all medications, including narcotics, be sold directly to consumers over-the-counter?
 
  • For one, we probably wouldn’t have drug lords and the need for a big chunk of the DEA.  I doubt drug dealers could survive against the pharmas.  Their product isn’t pure enough nor has the quality control consumers would be demanding. They probably couldn’t meet the price competitiveness of global pharmas. 
  • Tax revenues from OTC meds might go a long way towards underwriting the cost of health care.
  • Emergency rooms wouldn’t have to guess what the overdosed patients would be taking and treatment might be easier.
  • Drug abusers would be better able to manage their own addictions since they wouldn’t have to look over their shoulders for law enforcement nor contend with lying to get their medications from doctors, nor deal with product cut with who knows what.
  • Doctors offices would have many appointments freed up that are now clogged with patients who don’t need to go to them to get the prescriptions they want. They could go directly to pharmacies.  More time for more patients with acute illnesses. Total costs would drop.
  • Opium would become an honest crop with outlets that would bypass drug lords and organizations like the Taliban.  The troops could come home from Afghanistan.
  • Personal health records and other types of self-management services would explode since people wouldn’t have to go to the physicians to get their medications.
  • Greater emphasis would be placed on sharing pharmacy information so that patients and clinicians would know what they purchased, when and how they purchased medications.
  • There would be much less government or regulatory intervention required allowing more resources to be spent on intervention and services.

See what else you can add. Of course there are many cons but my guess is that when the list is completed the pros would significantly outweigh the cons.

The problem I see now is that there is a trend towards the other way (taking more medications off the counter).  That will only clog up an overwhelmed healthcare system even more.

 

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