Prescription Medication

Prescription medication can only be obtained through a prescription from a physician or other licensed medical practitioner. These medications are typically stronger than over-the-counter medications and can only be used by the intended person to treat a specific medical diagnosis. They are only distributed at licensed pharmacies.

Prescription medications often have higher potency and may have interactions with certain foods or other medications. Typically, these medications should be taken under the supervision of a healthcare provider.


Over the Counter (OTC) Medication

Over the counter (OTC) medications allow you to self-treat conditions such as allergies, headaches, joint pain, and more. You can buy OTC treatments at pharmacies and other retail outlets.

  • OTC treatments have low toxicity. These medications are also easy to take for self-diagnosed conditions and have clear labelling that includes directions, uses, and warnings. They are often less potent than prescription medications.
  • Some medications are available both over the counter and by prescription, but the formulations are not always the same. It’s best to check with your pharmacist or healthcare provider to determine which kind you should use.


Labelling requirements

Labelling requirements also differ for prescription and OTC drugs. When you are prescribed medication, the healthcare provider also decides your dose and how you should take the medication. This information is included in the prescription.

Unlike prescription drugs, OTC medications must have consumer-friendly labelling that is easy to understand. This way, a person can self-diagnose and treat their symptoms by reading the label. OTC labelling must include:

  • What the medication treats
  • Directions for use
  • Warnings of potential side effects or interactions


Prescription medications are usually more powerful than OTC treatments. That’s one reason why prescriptions require the guidance of a doctor to ensure they’re taken safely. OTC medications have a wider safety margin and are typically used to treat common, minor illnesses, such as allergies or joint pain.

Important Note:

It is important to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new medication, even OTC, especially if you have an underlying health condition or are taking other medications.


SAMWUMED Medication Benefits

SAMWUMED covers medication for 26 PMB Chronic illnesses and five additional (non-PMB) illnesses. Click here to access SAMWUMED Medication Benefits.