Sales Tax Exemptions for Healthcare Items

Over-the-Counter Drugs, Medicines, First Aid Supplies and Supplements

Drugs and Medicines

A drug or medicine is defined as a product (other than an appliance, device or food product) that is

  • applied to the human body;
  • ingested or inhaled by humans; and
  • intended or marketed for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease, illness, injury or pain.

Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and medicines do not require a prescription.


OTC drugs and medicines labeled with a Drug Facts panel in accordance with the regulations of the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are exempt from sales tax.

If a product meets the definition of a drug or medicine, but does not have a Drug Facts label, a physician must prescribe or dispense the drug or medicine for it to be exempt.

Only OTC drugs and medicines designed for humans are exempt from sales tax. Drugs and medicines for animals, such as flea repellants and de-wormers, are exempt from tax only when purchased with a veterinarian’s prescription. The sale of all other nonprescription drugs and medicines purchased for use in the treatment of animals is taxable.