OTC statins and triptans a bad idea, doctors say

The suggestion, from the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI), would see 11 categories of common prescription-only medications switched to pharmacy-only, including vaccines, oral contraceptives, erectile dysfunction drugs, antibiotics for urinary tract infections, osteoporosis medications, weight-loss drugs, analgesics for osteoarthritis, proton pump inhibitors, and treatments for overactive bladder. 

The ASMI argues the move would create $1.1 billion in annual savings by avoiding 17 million GP consultations and an additional $1 billion in savings through increased productivity.

The proposal is based on research commissioned by the ASMI and carried out by the Macquarie University Centre for the Health Economy.

The executive director of the ASMI, Dr Deon Schoombie, said most of the medicines in the study had a long history of relatively safe use, and many had already been switched to non-prescription in similar markets overseas such as the

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