Figure 1

Oxycodone patients. This situation is also contributing to the increased availability of medications as products are transferred from prescription to OTC status. The legislation that controls OTC products is quite recent. It was in 1951 that the United States first separated drugs into the two categories— prescription and OTC. A drug that is available only on prescription cannot be made available as an OTC product until its relative safety and efficacy have been reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

(SEE ALSO: Drug Interactions and Alcohol; Legal Regulation of Drugs and Alcohol)


Graedon, J., & Graedon, T. (1985). Joe Graedon's the new people's pharmacy. New York: Bantam. PALUMBO, F. (1991). The impact of the prescription to OTC switch on practicing pharmacists. American Pharmacy, 4, 41-44. PDR Physicians' desk reference for nonprescription drugs and dietary supplements. (2000). Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Data.

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