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The Food and Drug Administration may be a high-profile government agency, but a new survey finds that a notable portion of Americans are confused about some of the key roles the regulator plays.

Specifically, a quarter of Americans surveyed did not know that a medicine approved by the regulator may not necessarily help most people who use it. At the same time, 31% of the respondents believed the FDA approves prescription drug advertising and nearly 70% were under the mistaken impression that the agency approves all over-the-counter medicines.

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  • The FDA does approve some OTC drugs – (I’m assuming you are using ‘drugs’ synonymous with ‘medicine’.) In addition, a number of drugs are being downlisted by companies to OTC as opposed to prescription. Pfizer downlisted 109 drugs last year I believe, that information came from a STAT post.

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