Should People be Allowed to Buy Medications Over the Counter?

The question as to whether people should be allowed to buy medications over the counter is one that attracts lots of debate. One the one hand, you have a group of experts who argue that people shouldn’t be allowed to buy medications over the counter. These experts argue that people should see medical practitioners whenever they experience any symptoms of being unwell. Then, upon being evaluated by medical practitioners, they can have the right medications prescribed. The experts in this school of thought argue that by allowing people to buy medications over the counter, we end up allowing people to mask symptoms of often serious medical conditions. So you end up with a situation where conditions that would have been caught early are masked, until they get to alarming level (which is the only time most people go to see medical practitioners).

There is another school of thought which argues that people should be allowed to continue buying medications that provide basic relief over the counter. They argue that people often find themselves in situations where they can’t get to see medical practitioners straight away. And that by making it impossible for people to buy medications over-the-counter, you would effectively be condemning them to having to cope with pain for long periods of time (before they can have a chance to see medical practitioners).

All said and done, majority of the experts seem to be in the second school of thought. They seem to be of the view that there is no harm in selling the medications that provide basic relief to people over the counter. But there needs to be a mechanism for control of the medications. And complex medications (like, for instance, antibiotics) shouldn’t be sold over the counter under any circumstances.

Thankfully, today’s people are enlightened enough to know when they happen to be dealing with emergencies/when they should seek help from medical practitioners right away. And in any event, pretty much everybody has Internet access today (which can come in handy when it comes to searching for medical information). Thus, for instance, a person may be going online to take part in the survey. Then, in between, he opts to carry out a Google search for his symptoms, only to discover that he should see a medical practitioner straightaway. Therefore, given today’s enlightened population, which seems to know when thing are serious enough to seek medical advice, there is surely no harm in having the medications that provide basic relief sold over the counter.

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