Magazine article Drug Topics

Former FDA Chief Underscores Importance of OTC Information

Magazine article Drug Topics

Former FDA Chief Underscores Importance of OTC Information

Article excerpt

Americans are demanding more say in the area of health care. And they want to increase their understanding of nonprescription drugs as part of this empowerment.

So emphasized Arthur Hull Hayes Jr., former commissioner of the Food & Drug Administration, speaking before a crowd assembled in the Greenbrier Hotel's Colonial Hall, in White Sulphur Springs, W.V., during the 113th annual meeting of the Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers Association.

Americans are smarter today about health care; they know more about diet, about medications. "They need to receive the right information so they can make decisions about their health, about what's wrong and how serious it is," Hayes said. And nonprescription drugs have an "incredibly important place in all of this," he insisted.

To make decisions, the consumer has to be informed. "You [the nonprescription drug industry] have a chance to talk directly to the decision-makers who are consumers. You do this through advertising, through labels," he said.

But, Hayes told members of NDMA that they must go even further. "You must talk to physicians, pharmacists, physician-assistants.

"OTC drugs are not sold for trivial purposes. I myself take a small-dose aspirin every day for cardiovascular purposes," said Hayes. …

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