Now, over-the-counter drugs a phone call away

Experts say it is unlawful, warn of health hazards

Now, over-the-counter drugs  a phone call away

In an age when everything from groceries to pizzas is just a phone call away, the dangerous trend of ordering over-the-counter drugs over the phone is catching up among many youngsters.

Experts warn that these drugs can cause severe health problems and as much as it is convenient to order medicines over the phone without a prescription, it is illegal to do so.

Many of these drugs claim to take care of the hangover after alcohol consumption and even enhance the experience of consuming liquor.

These drugs are constantly advertised over radio channels and even the internet, paving way for many youngsters to fall prey to these ‘party drugs’.

Not only this, in the absence of any mechanism to monitor the home delivery of medicines, a majority of the drugs being delivered are without a prescription. With stiff competition between the traditional chemists/druggists and corporate pharmacies, norms such as checking the prescription before selling drugs are being flouted.

Speaking on the issue, V Hari Krishnan, President, Bangalore District Chemists and Druggists Association, said: “Over 3,000 members are a part of the association and no member delivers drugs. In fact, from March this year, ever since the new laws came into force, it is strictly prohibited to sell drugs without a prescription”.

 Raghuram Bhandari, State Drug Controller, said, “We are booking cases and also penalising chemists, as and when we get information. Recently, a chemist was booked and the drugs he was selling was confiscated.”

He added that selling and buying drugs/medicines without a prescription is unlawful and therefore is a punishable by law.

 Experts say that most youngsters who consume such medicines over-the-counter are not aware of the harmful affects.

A senior doctor working at a government hospital said that these drugs contain hazardous substances like arsenic, are not made following any norms and can adversely affect the brain, especially after being mixed with alcohol.

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