What are the Two Legal Classifications of Medication?

by Sue

What are two broad legal classifications of medications in community(retail) pharmacy?


In the US, there are only two legal classifications of drugs/drug products.

The two classes are products which are not-prescription and products which are prescription only. Prescription only medications are only available with written directions (written, faxed, electronic, or phoned) from a licensed prescriber to a pharmacist.

Prescription drugs are also known as “legend” medications. The word “Legend” in this case means that state and federal law requires all original prescription medication packaging to bear a “legend” on them, barring its sale unless a prescription is obtained from a prescriber.

This is why the packaging of prescription medications say on them, “Rx Only”. The packaging may say instead: “Caution: Federal Law Prohibits Dispensing this Drug Without a Prescription.”

This packaging comes directly from the drug manufacturer to the pharmacy’s wholesaler.

How are drugs manufactured? I talk about this process on http://www.pharmacy-tech-resources.com/Drug-Development.html There you will find more information about the role of the Food and Drug Administration in the US and how New Drug Applications are reviewed and/or how generic drugs are developed and brought to the marketplace.

What is a Prescription? http://www.pharmacy-tech-resources.com/what-is-a-prescription.html This page goes into great detail describing what a prescription is and the components which make up a legitimate prescription.

What about Prescription Forgeries? Visit http://www.pharmacy-tech-resources.com/Prescription-Forgeries.html

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