3 Legal Categories of Medication

The diversion or diversion of legally mandated controlled drugs for illegal use is an ongoing regulatory battle waged by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and other federal organizations. [7] Others belong to several classes, even within the same system. An example is finasteride, which treats enlarged prostate and regrows hair. It is therefore in two categories depending on these uses. Drugs can be divided into two subcategories: uncontrolled and controlled. Most prescriptions for infections or chronic diseases are not controlled. For example, blood pressure and cholesterol medications, diabetes medications (including insulin), asthma inhalers, and antimicrobials are all uncontrolled medications. Both types require recipes from a single vendor. However, controlled substances require special (triple) prescription paper or specific protocols when prescribed by other means such as telephone, fax or digital, and renewals are not available in certain circumstances. [1] The law defines three categories of drugs: prescription drugs (POM)[3], which are only available from a pharmacist if prescribed by an appropriate physician; Drugs in pharmacies (P), which are only available from a pharmacist, but without a prescription; and General Sales List (GSL) drugs that can be purchased at any store without a prescription. For more information on the POM-to-P or P-to-GSL reclassification process, see our guide to changing the legal classification of a medicine in the UK (PDF, 436 KB, 31 pages).

The three legal categories are explained here, with examples of drugs in each of the categories. We also explain how the categories refer to the term over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. At the clinician level, certain rules must be followed to prescribe a planned drug. Only Schedule 2 drug prescriptions cannot be refilled. [7] Controlled substances are an important asset in a health care provider`s toolbox in any practice, especially because these drugs work quickly and effectively. List 2 opioids (oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, hydromorphone, fentanyl, etc.) are among the main drugs administered in clinical settings and abused outside the medical field. For this reason, opioids contribute significantly to the fact that drug overdose is the leading cause of unintentional death in the United States. [5] [6] These are drugs that do not require a prescription, but can only be sold by a pharmacist. These may be stronger variations of over-the-counter medications.

However, if you know what classes your medications are in, you can avoid the mistakes of health care workers or you when choosing over-the-counter products. When in doubt, ask a supplier or pharmacist if anything is safe – before taking it. All medicines are subject to the Medicines Act 1968 and the Medicines for Human Use Regulations (2012). The Drugs Act remains the current primary legislation, and the Human Drugs Regulations have updated and clarified it. These set out the requirements for the legal sale, dispensing and administration of medicines. GSL is a type of drug that has few legal restrictions. They can be purchased almost anywhere. From the broadest perspective, you are left with 51 drug classes and thousands of subclasses and subcategories. Details on the legal status, package size, concentration, formulation or other information about a particular product or active ingredient can be obtained from info@mhra.gov.uk. A «class of drugs» is a group of drugs with certain similarities.

Three dominant methods are used to classify them: In general, there are only four different types of drugs that you would encounter. This is the legal classification of a package of medicines that determines the degree of control over their supply. In part, classification depends on the amount of inputs needed by healthcare professionals to diagnose and treat the conditions for which the drug could be used. At present, there are three categories into which a drug can be divided: Controlled substances are illegal drugs or drugs that are mainly active in the central nervous system and have the potential to cause relative physical and mental dependence that leads to addiction. [2] In addition, these substances can have significant adverse health consequences in high doses. Controlled medications have explicit restrictions on how they can be filled and refilled. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 established five separate «schedules» that delineated the potential for abuse, with Schedule 1 having the highest potential for abuse and each schedule subsequently having an increasingly low potential for abuse. [3] [4] An individual`s propensity to abuse a controlled substance is multifactorial and absorbs life experiences (especially stressors), especially in childhood, in conjunction with the individual`s specific neurobiology. The dopaminergic reward system is known to be involved in addiction. But specific gene sequences and transcription factors are also involved in addictive phenotypes.

[2] These factors can be combined to create a very strong and lasting motivation that can only be saturated by progressively increasing amounts of the affected substance. This concept raises the principle of supply and demand, and for controlled substances, whether legal or not, demand is high. The two ways in which care is possible are simple; unregulated (i.e., drug cartels) or regulated (pharmaceutical companies). Both exert significant pressure on federal organizations such as the U.S. FDA and DEA by restricting easy access to the public. [7] Aside from illnesses such as acute traumatic injuries or cancer-related pain, indications for short- or long-term use of opioid drugs are not explicitly defined and are somewhat subjective from one provider to another. In addition, a patient`s pain tolerance and personal opinion on the appropriate use of opioids can turn short-term treatment into longer, possibly chronic. MHRA Guide to Applying for Exclusivity to Change the Legal Status of a Medicinal Product (PDF, 72.2KB, 3 pages) These categories all have their own unique marks with which they can be identified and there are different rules for their use.