Asthma medications should be available for over-the-counter use: Pro

Joe K. Gerald, Michael E. Wechsler, Fernando D. Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Medications that provide quick relief of symptoms and that control airway inflammation are the mainstays of asthma treatment. However, adherence to these medications is suboptimal. The inconvenien ce and costs associated with obtaining theseprescription-only medications are factors that contribute to poor adherence. The Food and Drug Administration recently requested public comment on a new paradigm whereby specific prescriptiononly medications could be made available over the counter, provided that conditions for their safe use could be established. Many organizations expressed opposition, including the American Thoracic Society and other societies representing patients with respiratory diseases. These organizations cited unsubstantiated bene fi ts and unnecessary risks as reasons to oppose greater over-the-counter availability of current prescription-only medications. This article examines the rationale for, and potential ramifications of, making asthma medications available for nonprescription use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)975-979
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 1 2014


  • Asthma
  • Health policy
  • Medication adherence
  • Over-the-counter medications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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