ProPublica.org and This American Life partnered for a special report on acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol), the active ingredient in Tylenol, which is also found in many other over-the-counter medications. The narrow therapeutic index of acetaminophen means that often, the difference between safe use and overdose can be as small as one gram. From ProPublica.org: "About 150 Americans die a year by accidentally taking too much acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, federal data from the CDC shows."
What if you didn't need a prescription to get birth control pills? The FDA is thinking about allowing The Pill to be distributed over-the-counter. This would save a lot of effort and money. The concerns over the issue are that women may not continue with their yearly checkups if they don't have to get a prescription; that they may not realize the side-effects of using the pill with other medication, such as antibiotics; or that teenagers might be more likely to start using it without their parents' knowledge. Any thoughts?