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FDA may let you get meds without prescriptions

Monday - 4/30/2012, 6:48am  ET

Kristi King, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Going to the doctor isn't everyone's idea of a good time. Now there's a proposal to let patients skip trips to the doctor to get medicine without a prescription.

The idea is to change the status of some drugs from prescription to over-the-counter, similar to what happened with Plan-B and allergy meds such as Claritin and Allegra.

The proposal being considered by the Food and Drug Administration would be for you to answer questions online or at a pharmacy kiosk to get medicine to treat chronic conditions, such as high cholesterol, migraine headaches, diabetes and asthma.

The FDA still is collecting comments from the public. There's no time-line yet on when a decision is expected, The Washington Times.

The proposal is being considered as a cost-saving measure for the Medicare system that would have to pay for fewer visits to doctors. However, out-of-pocket costs to patients could go up because most insurance companies don't help pay for over-the-counter drugs.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)