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FDA plans to ease OTC approvals for some prescription drugs

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration wants to make it easier for some common medicines to be sold without a prescription.

The agency proposed new guidelines Tuesday for drugmakers who want to switch prescription drugs to over the counter.

In a statement, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said the agency is evaluating ways to make sure consumers don’t take an inappropriate over-the-counter drug. That could include adding information to the packaging label and offering mobile applications to help people decide if a drug is right for them.

Drugmakers would have to do studies showing those strategies allow consumers to safely pick a drug and use it without medical supervision.

Many widely used over-the-counter drugs originally were only available by prescription, including the allergy treatment Claritin and heartburn remedy Prilosec.

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