Doctors Call For Ibuprofen To Be Rx Only

Discussion
Jan 29, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

The head of the Australian Medical Association is calling on his nation’s government to prohibit over-the-counter (OTC) sales of painkillers containing ibuprofen.

According to Dr. Bill Glasson, medications containing ibuprofen have been shown to cause stomach bleeding and kidney damage when taken improperly, such as with some prescription
medications.

“We think it’s a backward step to move drugs from pharmacy shelves and put them onto supermarket shelves when a lot of those drugs do have side-effect profiles that really require
the expert advise of a pharmacist,” he said.

“We’re concerned particularly about this drug (ibuprofen) that can have significant gastro-intestinal side effects as well as renal side effects, particularly when taken with
other drugs such as diuretics.”

Moderator’s Comment: Should retailers and manufacturers encourage the FDA to conduct
a new review of the incidence of side effects associated with the improper use of ibuprofen? Should they support the decision of the federal body even if it could lead to banning
the OTC sale of products containing ibuprofen?

We’ve argued before, products containing ephedra should not have been banned because if taken as recommended they were safe. We pointed out that many more
consumers have medical problems resulting from the improper use of ibuprofen, aspirin and other commonly available OTC items as rationale for our position.

Dr. Glasson’s response to the inevitable question of how this will affect manufacturers and retailers of medications containing ibuprofen is this, “We need
to look at the process by which we list these drugs and make sure we try to protect the public and not try to protect necessarily the profits of drug companies.”

George
Anderson – Moderator

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