General Medicines Can Be Soon Sold By Kirana Stores Across India


Sheetal Bhalerao

Sheetal Bhalerao

Apr 19, 2024



A government-appointed committee is presently considering the idea of making commonly used drugs available at general stores in India.

General Medicines Can Be Soon Sold By Kirana Stores Across India

Government May Allow Sale Of Common Medicines In General Stores

The commonly used drugs such as cough and cold medicines, antacids, and fever-reducing drugs are being considered in this initiative.

Further, the committee is entrusted with formulating India’s over-the-counter (OTC) drug policy.

They have discussed this proposal during a recent meeting, as per a media report.

The idea is already implemented in many countries such as the US as they allow sale of commonly used medicines in grocery stores also. 

Initially, the suggestion was made by some of the experts while they were observing India’s OTC drug policy.

They thought to allow the same here as it allows improved accessibility, especially in the rural areas. 

So far, no decision has been taken in this regard, as confirmed in the media report.

How Does This Help?

If you are wondering about OTC medicines, these are the medicines which can be purchased without a doctor’s prescription.

Countries like the USA, UK, and Australia have well-defined guidelines for the sale and regulation of OTC medicines. 

Earlier this year, Director General of Health Services, Atul Goel, established an expert committee to develop India’s OTC drug policy. 

In its initial phase recently, the committee presented a basic list of drugs that could be available over the counter. 

Further, a meeting was organized to discuss potential additions or removals from this list.

It appears that our country lacks a comprehensive list of OTC drugs, unlike prescription drugs presently.

Here, the classification of a drug as OTC is based on the absence of a prescription-only status. 

This move holds a great significance as it is a first of its kind initiative in the country’s medical landscape which aims to streamline the availability of non-prescription medicines. 

A person known of the development said, “India has a rule for prescription drugs but there is no guideline or list of drugs that should be sold over the counter. A drug is considered an OTC unless it is specifically stated as a prescription only drug. This is the first time such an exercise is being undertaken.”  


Sheetal Bhalerao
Sheetal Bhalerao
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