Terms Beginning With 'o'

Over-the-counter (OTC) Drugs

What is an over-the-counter (OTC) drug (or medicine)?

Medicines, or drugs, are used to address a variety of health issues, from the management of any disease to pain relief and illness prevention. They are available in the market in the following two forms:

  • Prescription drugs (Rx)
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs

OTC medications, unlike prescription drugs, do not require any prescription to purchase. They typically treat indications that are easy to self-diagnose, for instance, colds, headaches, and allergies. These drugs are readily available at grocery stores, drug stores, convenience stores and supermarkets.

Examples of OTC drugs include those for cough and cold remedies, sunscreens, anti-fungal treatments, non-prescription analgesics including aspirin and paracetamol, among others.

Prescription drugs, on the other hand, can only be obtained through a prescription from a physician or other licensed medical professional.

How are OTC drugs regulated?

In many countries, OTC medications are selected by a regulatory authority to make sure that the active ingredients in the medicines are safe and effective when used without the intervention of a physician. The regulatory authorities have some set criteria based on which marketing approval is granted to an OTC drug. The authorities examine the manufacturing process and the risks associated with the drug.

Let us discuss regulations for OTC medicines by different countries-

·         Regulation in the US

In the US, the manufacture and sale of OTC medications are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The FDA has created the OTC monograph system to review classes of drugs.

OTC drugs are developed under the OTC Monograph Process or through the NDA process. The review of OTC medicines by the FDA is primarily managed by the Center for Drug Evaluation's Office of Drug Evaluation IV.

A sponsor or drug manufacturer seeking to market its OTC drug should submit an application to the Division of Nonprescription Drug Products (DNDP) in the Office of Drug Evaluation IV. DNDP is accountable for OTC drug monographs development.

According to the information provided by the FDA, if any drug cannot conform with the drug monograph, an IND and approved NDA is required before the marketing.

·         Regulation in Australia

In Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) regulates over-the-counter drugs. OTC medicines can be listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG), depending on their risk level associated with making the product available to consumers.

Registered OTC drugs are at lower risk as compared to prescription medicines, but they still need an appropriate level of scrutiny.

In Australia, OTC drugs can be supplied as:

For a drug/medicine to be included in the ARTG, the sponsor is required to submit an application to the TGA. The TGA has developed the Australian Regulatory Guidelines for OTC Medicines (ARGOM) to support sponsors of OTC medications to meet their legislative obligations.

·         Regulation in Canada

In Canada, over-the-counter or non-prescription drugs are regulated to make sure that these are safe to use and reduce health risks to Canadians.

Health Canada has established a list of certain non-prescription drugs for distribution as samples named as List D.

To be sold in Canada, OTC drugs require a valid Drug Identification Number also called DIN.  The Drug Identification Number shows that the drug has met all the requirements for safety, quality, and efficacy.

Canadian pharmaceutical companies that who are engaged in manufacturing, packaging, label and import of OTC-drugs must have a license for these activities and the required documents and evidence.

·         Regulation in the UK

In the UK, the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) is the body that is responsible for the medicines licensing.

The OTC drugs manufacture and supply, including traditional herbal medicines, are strictly regulated to make sure all medicines meet the requirements for safety, quality, and efficacy.

In the UK, OTC medicines cover all general sale medicines and pharmacy medicines. OTC medicines are called general sale list (GSL) medicines in the UK, the over the counter medicines term is informal and is not used in medicines regulations of the UK.

Are OTC medicines safe to use?

Even though OTC drugs do not require a prescription, they can still carry a risk. There are chances that OTC drugs may induce side effects, drug interactions, or harm at an excessive dose.

If a person is buying OTC drugs, it is advised to read the “Drug Facts” label that is available on all OTC medications.

The consumers should consult with their physicians, pharmacist, or other healthcare providers if they have additional queries related to use of OTC drug.

In pregnancy, women should ask their doctor before taking any medication, vitamin, or herbal supplement, even if it is an OTC product.

What is a Drug Facts label?

The label for over-the-counter medication is known as a Drug Facts label. The label of OTC drugs is placed at the back and often the sides of the package or box.

The label has important information related to the safety and efficacy of an OTC drug in the same format and order for every medicine.

In the US, every OTC Drug Facts label on store shelves has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The label informs what the medicine is intended to do with its use, when and how to take it.

Moreover, it also includes who should or should not take medicine. With the Drug Facts label, the information is easier to read and understand.

Margin stock is defined as any stock that is listed on a national securities exchange, any over-the-counter (OTC) security permitted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for trading in the national market system, or appearing on the Board's list of mutual funds and OTC margin stock.

  What is Nasdaq?  Nasdaq Stock Market is a global electronic marketplace for buying and selling securities on an automatic, transparent and speedy electronic network. It trades through a computer system rather than in a physical trading floor for the traders to trade directly between them. It is an American stock exchange located in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. NASDAQ is owned by the company Nasdaq. Inc. and ranked second on the list of stock exchanges as per market capitalisation of shares traded. The first rank goes to the New York Stock Exchange. Nasdaq-National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations, was founded in 1971 by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) to avoid inefficient trading and delays. Nasdaq. Inc. company also owns the Nasdaq Nordic stock market network in addition to other exchanges. The exchange has more than 3,100 companies listed. They are the highest trade volume companies in the US market, valued more than US$14 trillion in total.  Good read: NASDAQ surged up above 10,000 – Tech stocks setting a new benchmark   What is Nasdaq known for?  Nasdaq currently is the largest electronic stock market, and it is most well-known for its high-tech stocks. But it also has a variety of companies listed such as capital goods, healthcare, consumer durables and nondurables, energy, public utilities, finance and transportation.  Nasdaq boasts of having some of the largest blue-chip companies in the world and attracts high growth-oriented companies. Its stocks are known to be volatile than those listed on other exchanges. Apart from listed stocks, Nasdaq also trades in over the counter (OTC) stocks. The ticker symbols for the listed companies’ stocks on the Nasdaq have four or five letters.  The Nasdaq Composite index was initially termed as Nasdaq. It included all the stocks listed on Nasdaq stock market and also many stocks listed on Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index. The index has more than 3,000 stocks listed on it which include the world’s largest technology and biotech giants like Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, Gilead Sciences, Tesla and Intel.    Did you read: Blue-chip stocks: Value versus Growth in Covid-19 Era   Companies have to meet certain criteria to get listed on the NASDAQ National Market.  The entities have to meet financial, liquidity, and corporate governance-related requirements. Have to get registered with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) Have to maintain the stock price of at least US$1. Company’s value of outstanding stocks must total at least US$1.1 million.   The small companies which cannot meet the criteria can get listed on NASDAQ Small Caps Market. Nasdaq changes the companies as the eligibility of the companies keeps changing.  Image: Kalkine   What are different Nasdaq indexes?  Nasdaq uses an index to list its stocks like any other stock exchange. The index delivers stock performance snapshots. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) as its primary index; it tracks the stock price of 30 big companies. Nasdaq Composite and the Nasdaq 100 are two indices of Nasdaq. Nasdaq Composite measures the performance of more than 3,100 listed companies’ stocks trading daily on Nasdaq. Nasdaq 100 is a modified capitalisation-weighted index. This index has listed companies from various sectors, but the majority is from the technology industry. Depending on their market value, Nasdaq adds or removes the companies from its index Nasdaq 100.  Both the NASDAQ Composite and the NASDAQ 100 indexes have listed companies from the United States as well as global companies. On the other hand, Dow Jones Industrial Average index does not include companies outside of the US.    Did you read: Hanging Up Your Boots? Investment Strategies to Help you Relax and Build Wealth   Brief history  Nasdaq performance in the past has been groundbreaking and extraordinary. One of its highly regarded accomplishments is that Nasdaq was the first-ever stock exchange for offering electronic trading. It was the first to launch a website and stored all the records in the cloud. Interestingly, Nasdaq also sold its technology to other stock exchanges. Nasdaq invented the modern Initial Public Offering (IPO) as it listed venture-capital-backed companies. Initially, it merged with the American Stock Exchange. It formed the Nasdaq-AMEX Market Group, later on, the AMEX index was acquired by NYSE Euronext, and the entire data was integrated into NYSE. In 2007 Nasdaq acquired OMX which is a Swedish-Finnish financial company. Followed by which Nasdaq changed its name to NASDAQ OMX Group. NASDAQ OMX Group bought the Boston Stock Exchange and also the Philadelphia Stock Exchange which was the oldest stock exchange in the US.  Also read: Nasdaq index’s Tech Titans kicks off with Bold Performances   How to trade on Nasdaq?  Though the New York Stock Exchange is the largest exchange by market capitalisation, Nasdaq is the largest by trading volume due to its electronic quote mechanism. Nasdaq is a dealer’s market where the public buys and sells stocks with the help of the market maker (a registered broker/dealer). The market maker provides the buy and sell quotes and takes the position in those stocks. NYSE works differently as the buyers and sellers can trade directly with each other, and a specialist allows the trade. On Nasdaq, the market maker owns inventory and trade stocks in his/her capacity. Good read: Why NASDAQ Composite index plunged 5%?

Ichimoku Kinko Hyo is a versatile technical indicator used to identify trends, support and resistance, gauge momentum, and to generate buy or sell signals. The name of the indicator translates into “one look equilibrium chart”. Must read: What Is Technical Analysis? The indicator reflects on all of the above parameters by taking multiple averages into consideration and plotting them on a chart, and the interpretation of the chart is factual in nature, i.e., it remains the same irrespective of the time frame. Originally developed by a Japanese journalist – Goichi Hosoda in 1960s, the indicator provides more data points as compared to the traditional candlestick chart, and it could be applied on any type of chart, irrespective to the chart’s own data points, i.e., the chart could be a bar chart, a candlestick chart, or a simple line chart. While at first glance the indicator could seem intimidating and highly technical to novice traders or investors. However, the indicator is relatively easy, and once a trader understands the nitty-gritty of its derivation and implications, it could become quite handy to gauge the market sentiment. Moving Parts of Ichimoku Kinko Hyo The Ichimoku Kin Hyo mainly contains two short-term moving averages- the conversion line (kenkan sen) and the base line (Kijun sen), one medium-term average – Leading Span A (senkou span A), one long-term moving average – Leading Span B (senkou span B), and a historical closing plot – Lagging Span (chikou span). Derivation of Components The conversion line of the indicator is derived by taking the mean value of 9-period high and low. Likewise, the base line of the indicator is derived by taking the mean value of 26-period high and low. The leading Span A is typically the mean value of the conversion line and the base line. The leading Span B is the mean value of 52-period high and low. And the lagging Span is the close plot of 26-period in the past. Cloud 1 – Span A crosses above Span B. Cloud 2 – Span A crosses below Span B. In the definition, we mentioned that the Ichimoku Kin Hyo is factual in nature; thus, in the derivation section, we have used PH and PL notions. The period here could take any from, such as daily, weekly, monthly. So, if we are applying Ichimoku kin Hyo on the daily chart, the PH and PL notion would consider 9-day high and 9-day low. Likewise, if are applying the Ichimoku Kin Hyo indicator on a weekly chart, the PH and PL notion would consider 9-week high and 9-week low, and so on. Interpretation For interpreting signals from the Ichimoku, the first thing which should be considered is the crossover between the conversion line and the base line along with relative position of Span A and Span B. When the conversion line crosses above the base line from below, it is typically considered as a positive signal, and when the conversion line crosses the base line below from above, it is considered as a negative signal. Furthermore, if the positive crossover between the conversion line and the base line takes place above Span A, it reflects on the strength of the trend towards upward. Likewise, if the negative crossover between the conversion line and the base line takes place below Span B, it reflects on the strength of the trend towards downward. Ideally, if Span A trades above Span B, the trend is considered to be an uptrend. Likewise, if Span A trades below Span B, the trend is considered to be a downtrend. The behaviour of the cloud as either support or resistance depends upon the relative position of the price with respect to the cloud. For example, if the price of an asset is trading below cloud, the cloud acts as the resistance zone for the price. Likewise, if the price of an asset is trading above cloud, the cloud acts as the support zone for the price.

The OTC is the decentralised market in which the participants trades currencies, instruments, stocks directly between two parties without having any intermediary. The ?over the counter? market is less transparent than exchanges and have fewer regulations.

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