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Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are sold directly to consumers without a prescription. There are approximately 800 OTC active ingredients available today that constitute more than 300,000 OTC medicines in the healthcare marketplace. They are sold in more than 750,000 retail outlets including pharmacies, grocery stores, convenience stores, mass merchandise retailers, etc. Like prescription drugs, OTC medicines are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and are safe and effective when used as directed. The Drug Facts label instructs consumers on how to properly choose and use them. OTCs treat many common ailments including pain, fever, cough and cold, upset stomach, and allergies.
Natural health care products are currently regulated under the Natural Health Product Regulations, under the authority of the Food and Drugs Act. The regulations address the sale of natural health products, manufacture, packaging, labelling and importation for sale of natural health products, the distribution of natural health products, and the storage of natural health products. Under the regulations, all natural health products require a Natural Product Number (NPN), analogous to the Drug Identification Numbers (DINs) used to identify and monitor drugs in Canada.
The maintenance and promotion of health is achieved through different combination of physical, mental, and social well-being, together sometimes referred to as the "health triangle." The WHO's 1986 Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion further stated that health is not just a state, but also "a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities."
Access to essential medicines and health products is critical for reaching universal health coverage. Medicines and health products are important for addressing health problems and improve quality of lives. They form an indispensable component of health systems in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease and in alleviating disability and functional deficiency.
Her own health journey with disordered eating, amenorrhea and hypothyroidism has been the catalyst to her career focused on women's health and eating disorders. As both a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Registered Dietitian, Robyn specializes in helping women heal from hormone & reproductive health issues and recover from eating disorders and disordered eating.
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