|Prescription version and OTC version|
I use Nasacort (a nasal corticosteroid, triamcinolone acetonide) for hay fever symptoms, and it works very well. Each year, I send in a prescription request to my PCP, and then I go to Walgreen's or CVS to pick it up. This year, the price was well over $100, since my insurance plan no longer covered it. When I expressed surpise, the phramacist said, "Why don't you buy the OTC version? It's much less, and it's the same thing."
Sure enough, a comparable quantity was about 25% the cost of the prescription version.
I now have learned that the OTC version was authorized by the FDA on October 11, 2013.
My questions are basic. Why does my primary care practice still issue prescriptions for this medication instead of just sending people to the OTC version? Why does a prescription version still exist, and why is priced so far above the OTC version?