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Seoul seeks to allow household drug sales at non-pharmacy stores
제목 없음 South Korea will push for a law revision aimed at allowing household drugs to be sold at non-pharmacy stores amid opposition from pharmacists who claim such a move could lead to abuse or misuse of medication, the health ministry said Thursday.

   A revision to the nation's pharmaceutical affairs law will be up for public review from Friday until mid-August before the government pushes to make household drugs available at supermarkets, convenient stores and other non-pharmacy stores, according to the ministry.

   The move is aimed at enhancing consumer convenience by helping people get household drugs such as cold drugs and other safety-proven over-the-counter (OTC) medicines at night or during holidays when most pharmacies are closed.

   Under the revision, the government will be able to categorize some drugs as "medicines that can be sold out of pharmacies." Such drugs might include cold, fever and digestive medicines, the ministry said.

   Consumer groups have long called for allowing safety-proven household drugs to be sold at non-pharmacy stories, citing the difficulty of getting medicines at night and on weekends or holidays.

   But pharmacists have strongly opposed the idea, apparently out of concern that they could lose a major source of income. They have claimed that supermarket sales of medicines could lead to drug misuse and abuse.

   In a bid to ease such concerns, the ministry said it will allow the sale of such drugs only at places where it can track the distribution process and take swift action to withdraw any products found to cause harm to consumers.

Source: Yonhap News (July 28, 2011)

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