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Korea should allow OTC drugs sales
2012년 03월 16일 (금) 17:15:53 Ewha Voice evoice@ewha.ac.kr
   
▲ Bae Joon-young(Molecular and Life Sciences, 2)
During this winter vacation, I took a trip to the United States with my family. We packed some medicine in case of emergencies and took the travelers insurance at the airport. The staff told us to bring medical certificates if any of us had to go to a hospital during the visit.
I thought we would not need any of those preparations but my father got a problem from the day we arrived in New York. I guess he got tired of preparing for the trip when he was so busy. I was worried because he had to drive for the most of the time while we stayed there. He said he couldn’t eat anything and complained of dizziness, stomachache, and diarrhea. There was no medicine from what we brought that he could use in that situation. It was late at night and we had no idea where the hospital was, so we looked for a drug store. It was in a convenience store near the cross-country bus terminal. At one side there were pharmacists taking prescriptions and on the other side there were over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. My father is a physician, so when he bought the medicine, he checked out the components in it and said that one of them is classified into specialty medicines which needs a doctor’s prescription. He bought and took some medicine for diarrhea and gastritis and ate porridge. He didn’t get completely well but got better so my family could enjoy the rest of our trip.
The fact that he could buy medicine when he wasn’t able to go to the hospital was a big advantage and because of that experience I got interested about selling OTC drugs at supermarkets or convenience stores.
In Korea, the OTC drug sales bill has been put in doubt since last June and it has been pushed away again this month because the politicians continuously tend to show cold feet toward this bill. Though many people assert the need of OTC drug sales, the people who are elected to speak for us are clearly not doing their job. This bill has been intensely discussed by the members of the Central Pharmaceutical Affairs Council and the drugs on the list are much safer than the drugs selling in the United States. Also it is noted that people can buy only one day’s portion and there are only about 20 kinds of OTC drugs.
I personally think that this bill is definitely what people want and it should be passed by all means. I also hope that there will be more kinds of OTC drugs added to the list which could be on sale at convenience stores since there are many types of drug that people could use in need.
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