News & Event

[2013. 03]OTC-to-Rx switch of ephedrine discussed

Date2013.07.25 View351

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MOFDS) had a hearing to discuss the reclassification of the drugs that contain (pseudo)ephedrine after it found cold medicines containing ephedrine were used to make Meth (methamphetamine).

While The Korean Medical Association supports the OTC-to-prescription switch of ephedrine, the Korean Pharmaceutical Association (KPA) is against the switch, saying that ephedrine is safe enough to stay as OTC medication and, the sales log will track the illegal use of the drug.

In 2007, MOFDS announced a policy requiring sales log for ephedrine containing medication, even though the plan never took effect. For Now, MOFDS would not switch ephedrine to prescription only drug so easily, as it has not even tried sales log yet. MOFDS plans to change some inactive ingredients of ephedrine-containing medication, and share information with other countries to prevent Meth manufacturing.

In addition, MOFDS has the option to mandate sales log, as well as to put a purchase limit to ephedrine medication.

considers that the switch will limit consumers’ access to ephedrine, which is more preferred to phenylephrine for nasal congestion.