Last year, the Food and Drug Administration issued an update on the potential creation of a new class of drugs, “behind-the-counter drugs (BTCs).” One side of the issue says BTC drugs would improve patient access to medications, while another says it would raise drug costs.
On one hand, a BTC class might be unnecessary for some types of drugs, and it could possibly create longer lines at the pharmacist counter. However, the ineffectiveness of some types of children’s medications, the misuse of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and the harmful side effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are cause for concern.
It’s interesting that as some modern prescription drugs, such as acid reducers and allergy medications, gain shelf space in nonprescription form, some previously nonprescription medicines could go behind the counter.
The good news for U.S. consumers is that they have safe, natural alternatives: nutritional supplements. Digestive enzymes help the body better absorb nutrients and relieve digestive stress, while systemic enzyme supplements support the natural healing process.
In addition, probiotic supplements help impede the growth of harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast. They also increase the pH of the colon to inhibit tissue changes. In digestion, probiotics aid in breaking down lactose, fiber and proteins. They help the body properly absorb vitamins and essential nutrients.