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Ministry completes list of OTC drugs

The Ministry of Health has completed a list of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs to be made available for sale outside of pharmacies, senior official Ágnes Horváth said yesterday.

The list of 280 OTC meds includes pain killers, anti-fungal creams, medical disinfectants, anti-inflammation drugs, antihistamines, antacids, vitamins, some salves, eye drops and nasal sprays. The list will be revised regularly and updated if necessary, Horváth added. Parliament recently approved an amendment allowing the sale of some OTC drugs in retail stores other than pharmacies, including filling stations and supermarkets.

Stores that wish to sell OTC drugs must, however, get a certification from the National Public Health Service (ÁNTSz). At the same time, the ministry is now requiring doctor's prescriptions for certain popular pain medications sold over the counter until now, because large doses can trigger serious side effects. (Mti, Magyar Hírlap, Napi Gazdaság, Népszava)