1. Explain the terms social drugs and medicines.
People take social drugs to help them relax or occasionally give themselves the feeling of having more energy (BBC 2013). Social drugs are also known as recreational or non medicinal drugs. These types of drugs are used for recreational purposes and without medical justification. There are two types of social drugs, illegal and socially acceptable drugs. Illegal social drugs include heroin, cocaine, cannabis and LSD. Examples of socially acceptable drugs are caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. However, unlike social drugs, medicinal drugs are taken for the purpose of treating, preventing and diagnosing a disease (Taylor and Reide 1998 p3). Examples of medicinal drugs include amitriptyline – an anti depressant which acts on nerve cells in the brain, hydrochloride cetirizine – used to treat allergy symptoms and amoxicillin – used to treat bacterial infections. 2. With reference to medicinal drugs explain the difference between a generic name and a brand or proprietary name. A drug goes through a series of stages that will take it from its chemical name to its proprietary name, also known as its brand name. A drug originally begins with a chemical name which describes its atomic or molecular structure such as 2-(2,6-dichloranilino) phenylacetic acid. However due to the complexity of its name for general use the chemical name of a drug is given a shorter name, known as the generic name. In the case of 2-(2,6-dichloranilino) phenylacetic acid, it is Diclofenac, a non-steriodal anti-flammatory drug. The generic name does not necessarily have to be a simplified version of its chemical name. It is generally a name that is approved and is one that prescribers are trained to use in practice. The drug will then go through several trials that will decide its generic name, starting by gaining approval for marketing. If the drug is safe and effective a license will be given after approval. The company will now have rights to market the medicine, known as a patent. The company can now choose a proprietary name for its new drug. The proprietary name is the registered trademark used by the drug company. There are several proprietary names for Diclofenic, including Aclonac and Voltaren. (Vickers, 2011). 3. Explain the three classes of products that may be supplied according to the Medicines Act 1968. You may supplement your account with a diagram. The Medicines Act 1968 is “an act to make new provision with respect to medicinal products and related matters, and for purposes connected therewith.” (Medicines Act 1968 ch. 67) It was encouraged by the thalidomide tragedy in the 1960s where babies’ normal development was prevented, causing many of them to be born with phocomelia resulting in shortened, absent or flipper-like limbs. (Carias and Fintel et al., 2009) The act divides medicinal drugs into three categories; prescription only medicines (POM), general sales list medicines (GSL) and pharmacy medicines (P), determined by the risks and dangers they pose if misused. Prescription only medicines are the strictest out of the three as they have to be supplied by prescription from a suitably qualified healthcare professional such as a doctor, a nurse or a dentist. Medicines under this category include Carbamazepine and Fluoxetine, used to treat epilepsy and depression respectively. Both general sales list medicines and pharmacy medicines come under the term over the counter medicines. However, they are both different. Although pharmacy medicines do not require a prescription, they are only available under the supervision of a pharmacist and not available for self selection by purchasers. These medicines include the morning after pill, an emergency contraceptive and Promethazine Hydrochloride which relieves allergy symptoms. General sales list medicines, on the other hand, are available to purchasers via self selection. They can be sold at any retail store, excluding market stalls. Small quantities...
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