Japan seeks more OTC medications

About 10% of Japan's medications can be purchased over the counter, and the country's health ministry wants this percentage to grow. To that end, the government agency is asking consumers and insurers which drugs should be made available for purchase without a prescription, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

The developing program is expected to focus on drugs that treat “easily identifiable symptoms and that can be easily administered by consumers, such as allergy medications or eye drops.” Insurers have lobbied the government for Rx-to-OTC conversions.