Rural village chiefs may sell OTC drugs
By Kim Rahn
Residents in remote rural areas without large supermarkets and modern convenience stores may be able to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) medicine from the village leader.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare said Sunday it is considering having heads of villages sell cold remedies, digestive tablets, and painkillers if there are no alternative places.
The move follows the revision of the Law on Pharmaceutical Affairs that permits the sale of nonprescription drugs at retail outlets other than pharmacies starting November, making it possible to also purchase medicine at night or on holidays.
There are some 580 rural villages where this would apply.
“We are considering the measure for towns without convenience stores. If the idea is adopted, the village heads will receive proper training on drug sales,” a ministry official said.
According to the current law, at remote villages or on islands without pharmacies, the chief, even without a pharmacist’s license is already allowed to keep and sell such nonprescription drugs.