Talk:Prescription drug

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In[edit]

In the article, there is a misleading sentence and two parts have to be exchanged against each other as follows:

"As a general rule, over-the-counter drugs are those that treat a condition not necessarily requiring a doctor's care and have not been proven to meet safety standards required for prescription drugs".

In the current text, it was just the other way around.

Best regards Juergen Hahn hahnhome@t-online.de

  • I agree confusing; both originally, as above, and as stands in article. Hope my edit is clear. -David Rubentalk 17:10, 24 August 2005 (UTC)


The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, not the Controlled Substances Act, is the law that declares certain drugs prescription drugs. The controlled substances act declares what substances are controlled substances. Making something a controlled substance does not automatically make it a prescription drug, and only a small minority of prescription drugs are also controlled substances. I edited the article to correct this.

Regulations in the United States[edit]

The section on regulations explains how prescriptions are defined, who may write them, who regulates the drugs, and how they are labeled. There are also two paragraphs about pharmacies. What does this have to do with prescription drugs?

I'm asking for two reasons. The first reference to pharmacies starts with "Also" and talks about membership club pharmacies, as if it were part of a pharmacy discussion. The next paragraph is about off label use, which goes back to regulation. That's followed by a paragraph about generic drugs in pharmacy chains. Aside from the obvious bad structure, these sections have nothing to do with prescription drug regulations.

The other reason for the question is that the question itself is not addressed in the section. The section should talk about what regulations cover who can sell prescription drugs rather than mentioning pharmacies completely out of context. Currently, it says nothing about that so there is no way of telling why pharmacies are even mentioned.

If I have a prescription, must I go to a pharmacy to have it filled? If I have a bottle of a prescription drug and you have a prescription for the same drug, can I give it to you? The section merely says that one needs a prescription to get the drug so the answers could be inferred to be no and yes, respectively.

The minutiae about pharmacies should be put in a pharmacy article, and this section should discuss regulations related to dispensing prescription drugs. Hagrinas (talk) 16:32, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Pricing of prescription drugs[edit]

I've just spent a very frustrating few minutes trying to find a simple comparison called something like "Prescription charges around the world". It doesn't seem to exist: any chance someone with the requisite knowledge could do something here? It would be very useful to know what the situation is in countries other than the USA and UK. Loganberry (Talk) 04:00, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

- I've changed the situation in Scotland, as that is all I know, but yes, it would be helpful if we could have a comparison. Certainly, the "UK" situation should be split up into the different constituent nations, as the story is very different in each 94.168.147.34 (talk) 08:34, 17 August 2009 (UTC)


It should be noted that post-doctorate level psychologists are in fact allowed by law, in some states to prescribe. There is an unsupported claim by psychiatry that it is dangerous for other mental health specialists to prescribe because the current practice of psychiatry in the United States amounts to maintaining a guaranteed patient niche market through medication management alone. They then refer the patient for additional treatment for all other treatment. On average, US psychiatrist spend an average of 10-15 minutes "Personally" with their patients to write and or adjust prescriptions. The psychiatrist then also glean additional income from other healthcare professionals who are politically being blocked from gaining prescriptive authority, through such business tactics as office space rental and other inflated "administrative" costs. Dawn Webster

Legend drug[edit]

The term "legend drug" redirects to this article, but it is not explained in the article text. This term should be explained in the article if the redirect is truly appropriate, otherwise Legend drug should be its own article/stub. Mike Dillon 02:27, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

A google search indicates that legend drug is a United States term for prescription drug, so this redirect is correct. I hadn't heard that term before either! Bertcocaine (talk) 03:19, 13 June 2010 (UTC)


Gew, can we get rid of the animated GIF? That's not cool. --AlanH 04:49, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Non NPOV[edit]

Under Regulations in UK there's a couple of passages about the HC2 certificate and means testing which doesn't appear to be entirely NPOV and somewhat opinionated and not entirely well written. Perhaps someone with a better knowledge of these matters could rectify? 82.10.65.30 14:34, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

The top link is dead... I'm just passing through, so I don't know what would be an appropriate replacement.

Keep up the good work!

I can't see anything about means testing, but one or more editors have used lots of "" around certain terms, and there was a statement breaking up the sentence about applying for an HC2 certificate not always being granted - to my mind, the very existence of an application process indicates the possibility of rejection and I have removed that statement, along with link corrections, sorting out the grammar, and removing the quotation marks and hyphens that were spread throughout this section. Bertcocaine (talk) 03:13, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Looks like the non NPOV has been fixed, I have just corrected the false information (incapacity benefit is not a qualifying benefit for free prescriptions - only income based benefits are) and added a few words to make it clearer that medical conditions do not lead directly to free prescriptions, a time-limited medical exemption certificate must be applied for.

The section could still do with some editing/rewriting as it is a bit long, but can anyone doing this please make sure they don't edit out all the qualifying words (eg. income based before ESA) as these are important. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.180.151.231 (talk) 09:38, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

What stands Rx for?[edit]

Is Rx an abbreviation? Where does it come from? --84.56.253.183 (talk) 06:46, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

It is a Latin abbreviation meaning "Recipe" or "Compound" —Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.31.73.1 (talk) 14:51, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

The abbreviation isn't normally used outside North America. I'll modify the article slightly to reflect this. --Ef80 (talk) 14:12, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
I do not agree with this POV. The Rx or equivalent symbol is used by many doctors around the world. A prescription is basically a written instruction what has to be made for the specific patient. It can be factory made medication but can also contain the ingredients of a product which has to be compounded. There are still many places (I am a pharmacist in the Netherlands) where medication is compounded. In the Netherlands these medications are usually for topical use, but drops (eye, ear, nose), injections, capsules, potions, are still regularly made by hand. Because this is a labour intensive process and the skill (and material) needed will make the end product quite expensive. Because of this it is rapidly disappearing. To many docctors and pharmacists this is looked upon as detrimental as it removes the possibility of made-to-measure medicine. 77.167.212.162 10:25, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

I thought that Rx is actually NOT an abbreviated word, it is a stylized version of the jupiter symbol - I'll try n' find a source to back this up, but please know that Rx isn't even 2 letters - it has historically been more like an R with a dash through the R's right leg line (which looks like a lowercase x) (Qdiderot (talk) 10:49, 14 August 2011 (UTC)) OK here is at least one reference supporting the jupiter symbol theory - this reference covers two other theories including the abbreviation one, but I beleive the jupiter symbol is worth mentioning in the main article page here is the link http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1641/what-does-the-pharmacists-symbol-rx-mean Qdiderot (talk) 15:18, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Abuse of Prescription Medications[edit]

There needs to be a section on the abuse of these drugs.

UK legislation[edit]

I note Prescription only medicine redirects to the article, and I am unable to find in the article any reference to UK law defining what presescription only medicine is
Various drugs classified under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 appear to be also prescription only medicines
Are all prescription only medicines drugs classified under the act?
Laurel Bush (talk) 13:31, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

What about are fury an' tasty friends?
I think it would be worth while to included veterinary drugs and substances as well; as the principle idea behind separating POM from OTC is not only the same, it will add clarity to give examples from both fields, without making the article too complex. To have a separate POM V article would be just repetitious. A links can then be made back and forth to Veterinary medicine and of course to Controlled drugs (this is why I pointed out that the medical side of drug legalization ought to be kept separate). It might be easier to add the text first and then find references to fit, rather than try and adapt the info, from the first reference that comes along. That approach always seem to make for a bitty and hard to read article.--Aspro (talk) 17:43, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Yes, maybe
But knowing what precisely is relevant legislation seems to come first
Also, I note the current UK-related info in "Prescription drug" seems not really to belong there
It might belong in an article about the NHS
Laurel Bush (talk) 18:25, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Hang fire for a bit on these med articles. Since I last looked through all of them sometime last year, it seem that someone(s) been swapping things about. I need a quite evening to start out from basics and figure out what exactly has been changed. When the correct nomenclature and/or taxonomy is ignored or confused, it starts making WP looking very amateurish. The proper root article, for these to follow on from should be Medicinal product but it's has been left a stub. Also, it uses 'medication' as a noun instead of a verb which is lazy English not suitable for an encyclopaedia.--Aspro (talk) 20:25, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

I now believe the following may be a reasonable statement re UK POMs (prescription only medicines):

Prescription only medicines under the Medicines Act 1968 are drugs classified under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and scheduled under Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001

Laurel Bush (talk) 11:23, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't agree with this. Some drugs classified under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations are available on prescription but as I understand it, prescription only drugs are only controlled for production, export, sale etc. (not possession) under the Medicines Act. This is in contrast to a statement under the "Regulation in the UK" section. The reference for this, which claimed that "Possession of Prescription Only medicines without a prescription is a serious offence" has also recently disappeared from the Home Office website during an overhaul. Feldhaus (talk) 17:07, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

My understanding is that all drugs (whether medicinal or recreational) that are restricted through legislation are 'controlled substances' and that any offences for possession are related to the misuse of drugs act - I don't think the law differentiates between the two. Any drug can therefore be prescribed by any licensed medical professional - for example, there are several doctors in the UK that prescribed heroin to a limited number of people (This info was in a BBC documentary a couple of years ago about legalisation of drugs and potential effects on society). However, I would expect that any doctor doing so for financial gain or as a favour would quickly find themselves struck off the register (assuming they were caught!). It is an offence to be in possession of a prescription drug without a prescription. Bertcocaine (talk) 03:30, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

It is only illegal to be in possession of a drug classified under the misuse of drugs act (though it is still not illegal to possess certain class C drugs, eg anabolic steroids), it is not otherwise illegal to be in possession of a prescription only medicine, I have edited the erroneous comment. Comrinec (talk) 03:21, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Reverts[edit]

Recent edits reverted the article to an older version that clobbered any added or revised text and contains broken and incomplete citations.

Would you please explain why you are clobbering the edits of other users?

Whywhenwhohow (talk) 16:37, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Dietary supplements[edit]

It is again a myth to believe that dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA. The substances allowed for dietary supplements are very much regulated by the FDA, and the FDA also inspects facilities manufacturing them. It seems like so often, wikipedia is taking a stand-point that is a common (popular) misbelief. The difference to a drug lies more in the proof of efficacy, product registration, and the submission of clinical data. With the introduction of mandatory cGMP regulations in 2008, the quality and labeling of dietary supplements should be equal to OTC substances, but again, the proof of clinical efficacy is usually not so strong. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.105.129.239 (talk) 02:19, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

What about advertising?[edit]

TV in the USA is full of adds for prescription medicine ("Do you want your loved ones to avoid getting cancer? Ask your doctor about Zanowhatever"), but there's zero in Europe. I guess it's illegal in Europe.

Can anyone add a section about the advertising of prescription medication? Gronky (talk) 17:11, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Direct marketing of prescription drugs to the general public is certainly prohibited in the UK, and doctors are strongly encouraged to prescribe generically even when drugs are still in patent. Recently companies have started to push the barriers by advertising conditions like erectile dysfunction but not mentioning specific drugs. I don't know enough about this subject to modify the article though. --Ef80 (talk) 17:38, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

Ethical drugs[edit]

Anyone care about confirming/adding this? would have saved me some time. "Ethical drug is a synonym for prescription drug that is often favoured by pharmaceutical companies despite being less widely understood." Source — Preceding unsigned comment added by 41.202.108.220 (talk) 12:00, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Revised title[edit]

I’ve changed the title to “prescription drug” from “prescription medication” per WP:COMMONALITY. Medication as a noun is, in general, largely limited to North America. In the rest of the world, generally, “medicine” is preferred. Nevertheless, the term “prescription drug” is commonly understood throughout the world, and this article even states that it is the “common term” in the USA. It also would bring this article into line with its sister article, pharmaceutical drug. Therefore, I think this move was appropriate, and have also updated some of the language in this article. RGloucester (talk) 06:47, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Expiration Date[edit]

Article states these are set by the manufacturer. However every prescription I have had filled this was one year after the date it was filled. It can't be a coincidence, so it must be more complicated than stated in the article. 173.73.100.150 (talk) 17:37, 3 December 2014 (UTC)