Prescription drugs are those drugs which are prescribed by a doctor or a health care professional to a patient to treat his/her diseases and/or illness. These drugs can be only be dispensed by a licensed local pharmacy. Prescription drugs are solely prescribed for and intended for use by a single person only.
In order to acquire prescription drugs, the sick person must need to visit a doctor or a health care professional who will then provide you the service with a medical diagnosis and decision. These drugs are more powerful than non-prescription drugs. These drugs can also be used for curing minor as well as major diseases and/or illness. It can cause harm if mishandled.
Prescription drugs may or may not be expensive. This factor entirely depends on the practice of the doctor you are visiting. Since there had been a tug-of-war between branded and generic drugs since decades, some doctors prefer the use of former, latter or both. So, to sum up, the cost varies on the type of drugs your doctor or health care professional prescribes.
Non-prescription drugs are also known as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. These drugs do not require any kind of prescription by any doctor or health care professional in order to treat the diseases and/or illness. They are available for purchase anywhere: on the shelves of local pharmacies, in supermarkets or small convenience stores.
Non-prescription drugs can be usually used by multiple people. But it is highly recommended to exercise caution. Some non-prescription drugs cannot be shared like eye drops, ointments etc. or else the risk of contamination might follow. Better safe than sorry. As non-prescription drugs do not need any kind of medical diagnosis, it usually relies on self-diagnosis and the medicine is also chosen based on self-care decisions. Non-prescription drugs can only be used to cure minor disease and/or illness, they cannot be used for major cases. Also a word of caution, they too are harmful when mishandled.
Usually, non-prescription drugs are based on experience and consistency of generic drug(s) consumed by the patient. Sometimes, these also follow a word-of-mouth procedure. So, one may say that non-prescription drugs are usually affordable because one is acquainted with its effects since a long time, and it also helps them in saving some bucks. But one must exercise caution on its overuse. Hence better safe than sorry.