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Antibiotics sold without prescription

Posted - Sep. 30, 2004 at 2:40 p.m.



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ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sep 30, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Some New York City stores, catering mostly to the Hispanic community, are selling antibiotics over the counter without a prescription, says a study.

Such practice, though common in some countries, is against the law in the United States, and contributes to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, says the study.

The findings were presented Thursday at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America in Arlington, Va.

The study found antibiotics were available without prescription in stores in Hispanic neighborhoods, but not in stores located in other neighborhoods.

"In Central and South American countries and developing countries around the world, it's perfectly legal to buy antibiotics over the counter," said the study's principal investigator, Prof. Elaine Larson at Columbia University School of Nursing in New York.

"These store owners really believe they're doing their customers a service, although it's illegal in this country."

Her study found antibiotics were available without a prescription in all 34 stores in the Hispanic neighborhoods, called bodegas, but in none of the other stores in the city.

She said her group is trying to find the best way to educate bodega owners about the problem with selling antibiotics without a prescription.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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