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What is the Difference between Prescription Medicines and Over The Counter Medicines?

by Amrita Gupta Educational Content Writer
As evident from the name itself, the largest difference between prescription medicine and over-the-counter medicine is prescription medicines require a prescription from the doctor whereas over-the-counter medicine does not require any kind of medical approval and can be bought directly from the counter. 

Some examples of over-the-counter drugs are ibuprofen, aspirin, etc. Mostly we are all aware of these names as they are commonly sold as headache medicines or pain medicines in the market. Whereas we don’t even remember the names of the prescription medicines because it all depends on the ailment we have.

The key differences are:

The Pharma industry sells over-the-counter medicines only for an ailment which are minor and short-lived like indigestion, headache, or a minor sprain. The Pharma franchise buys such Over Counter medicines from the Pharma Industry because they give a lot of profit and also engaging consumers. But Prescription medicines are thoroughly discussed related to a specific ailment. If a patient is suffering from fever for more than 3 days, then most patients visit doctors and then the doctor discusses the ailment in detail and provides medication for the same.

  • Prescription medicines are high-dose medicines therefore the Pharma Industry makes sure to mention “Not to be sold without doctor’s prescription”. The prescription medicines are given by a doctor upon thorough check-up of each scenario a patient discusses. If there are multiple medications then the doctor makes sure to prescribe medicines from the Pharma Industry which best fits with the patient’s condition. Some doctors also prescribe medicines based on the availability of the particular medicine in their local Pharma Franchise stores. Whereas over-the-counter medicines are low-dose medicines that don’t have many risks. As over-the-counter medicines are deemed as “not so serious ailments” they are available readily without any risk and prescription required.

  • The Counter medications are cheaper as compared to prescription medicines. They are mostly sold in bulk as most customers buy them single-handedly for small ailments like headaches or stomach aches. Everyone wants to keep these over-the-counter medications handy with them. So the Pharma Industry makes sure that it is manufactured at a comparatively lower price. The Pharma Franchise needs to make sure to understand the ailment even before selling the over-the-counter medications. Prescriptions medicines contain a high concentration of different drugs created by the Pharma Industry so are sold at a higher rate.

  • The Counter medicines are lower risk medicines. They don’t cause any severe allergies or harm the overall health of people so they are widely sold as well as manufactured by the Pharma Industry. On the Contrary, prescription medicines are high-risk medicines. They are made under strict supervision and involve a lot more concentration. The Pharma Franchise should have strict knowledge about the benefits or allergies etc about the prescription medicines so that they guide the consumers on the same.

  • Over-the-counter medicines are regulated by the FDA through monographs process where prescription medicines are regulated by the FDA through the New Drug Application Process.

  • Prescription medicines are strictly bought from the Pharma Franchise owner. Not everyone gets hold of selling prescription medicines. Whereas over-the-counter medicines are available at local groceries, pharmacy shops, etc., and they are not quite asked about medicines. Prescription drugs are authorized to be only sold at an authorized pharmacy.


Nevertheless, over-the-counter medicines are deemed safe and can be bought without a prescription, one must be well-versed with the kind of medicine he/she is purchasing and not risking one's life. Also one must make sure to follow the instructions present in the leaflet of the medicine.


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About Amrita Gupta Junior   Educational Content Writer

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Joined APSense since, August 15th, 2020, From New Delhi, India.

Created on Mar 19th 2021 05:09. Viewed 174 times.

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