Drugs Paper 3

655 words - 3 pages

A drug, broadly speaking, is any substance that, when absorbed into the body of a living organism, alters normal bodily function.[3] There is no single, precise definition, as there are different meanings in drug control law, government regulations, medicine, and colloquial usage.[4]

In pharmacology, a drug is "a chemical substance used in the treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being."[4] Drugs may be prescribed for a limited duration, or on a regular basis for chronic disorders.[5]

Recreational drugs are chemical substances that affect the central nervous system, such as opioids or hallucinogens.[5] They may be ...view middle of the document...

Dispensing of medication is often regulated by governments into three categories—over-the-counter (OTC) medications, which are available in pharmacies and supermarkets without special restrictions, behind-the-counter (BTC), which are dispensed by a pharmacist without needing a doctor's prescription, and Prescription only medicines (POM), which must be prescribed by a licensed medical professional, usually a physician.[citation needed]

In the United Kingdom, BTC medicines are called pharmacy medicines which can only be sold in registered pharmacies, by or under the supervision of a pharmacist. These medications are designated by the letter P on the label.[8] The range of medicines available without a prescription varies from country to country.

Medications are typically produced by pharmaceutical companies and are often patented to give the developer exclusive rights to produce them, but they can also be derived from naturally occurring substance in plants called herbal medicine.[citation needed] Those that are not...

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