What are Prescription Drugs?

prescription drug addictionA prescription drug refers to those medicines which must be prescribed by a medical professional and are regulated by the government. In the United States, a variety of medical professionals can authorize prescription drugs, including: physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, veterinarians, psychologists and optometrists.

A prescription drug refers to those medicines which must be prescribed by a medical professional and are regulated by the government. In the United States, a variety of medical professionals can authorize prescription drugs, including: physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, veterinarians, psychologists and optometrists.

The History of Prescription Drug Regulation

Prescription drugs must contain warnings about potential side effects and allergy warnings as well. The safety regulations regarding prescription drugs in the United States are overseen by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Prescription Drug Marketing Act of 1987. Currently, there is a battle being waged over the pricing of prescription drugs between Canada and The United States. U.S. prices are much higher, as drug makers state that the money is needed for additional trials and tests so the prescription drugs meet the government’s high standards. U.S. residents, meanwhile, are crossing the border and buying less expensive drugs in Canada. This has led the U.S. government to warn its citizens about the safety of Canadian drugs – a point which may or may not carry any merit. It is strongly advised that any individual who needs prescription medication follow the exact advice of their doctors.

As the population of the United States continues to get older, the history of prescription drugs is adding a new chapter. With each passing year, more Baby Boomers are reaching new age milestones. With an ever-aging population we are seeing a greater frequency of illness and disease. Therefore, there is a greater and greater demand for prescription drugs -specifically those that provide pain relief.

In 1986, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a report that recommended the use of opiate pain relief medication for those suffering from cancer and other serious illnesses that carried heavy, acute pain as a symptom. This report stated that first, the physician should try over-the-counter medication such as Ibuprofen, then if that did not ease the patient’s pain, codeine and other like opioids should be prescribed. Finally, if the pain was still not relieved, the doctor would recommend morphine and other related pain killing medication.

What you need to know about Prescription Drugs

With this policy, and the advent of new drugs such as OxyContin, there began a wide-spread use of prescription drugs throughout the country. In the mid 1990’s reports of abuse and overdose began to accumulate. This situation has continued until the present day. Now, doctors are much less willing to prescribe prescription pain killers – as the specter of abuse and malpractice hangs over the medical community.