SEOUL, KOREA — Ministry of Health and Welfare informed that it decided on the household medicines that will be sold at convenience store from this year by convening the household medicine designation and assessment committee (referred to as “the committee,” hereinafter) on 5 Jul.
The items chosen are pain-reliever/fever-reducer, cold medicine, digestive medicine, and plaster. They are 13 items including Tylenol 500㎎, Pancol A Soln, Festal Plus Tab., Sinsin Pas Rx(plaster) and others.
In addition, Ministry of Health and Welfare will check the status of use of household medicines by consumers 6 months after the implementation of this scheme according to the opinion of the committee and readjust the item list one year after the implementation.
Also, review and discussion will be continued to adjust the list of household medicines to be sold at convenience store later.
On the day, the committee discussed the need of adding antidiarrheal, antacid agent, and antispasmodic, etc. on top of the thirteen items.
Some opposing comments were also raised against including some of the thirteen medicines into the list.
In the meantime, the committee requested for consideration of ways to carry out a compensation program for consumer loss or damage resulting from side effects of medicines through cooperation with pharmaceutical companies that will be involved in selling household medicines at convenience store.
The committee consists of the medical community, pharmaceutical area, health policy experts, civic groups and consumer groups.
It has been reviewing the items to be sold as well as the standards for designation of the “household medicines” through three rounds of meetings so far.
The committee looked at the medicines that are well known to consumers first given that these medicines will be used in urgent cases such as at night and on holidays while trying to meet the “standards for designation of the household medicines” that excludes drugs that bear special cautions such as ones that shouldn’t be taken by pregnant women.
As some drugs were re-categorized as quasi-drug items in Jul. last year* and some medicines are designated as household medicines, consumers will be able to purchase medicines at convenience store, not at pharmacy only, which is expected to enhance consumers’ convenience.
An official from Ministry of Health and Welfare said, “now that the items are determined, we will make thorough preparation such as package units, change of indication on packages and many others.”