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Codeine-Containing Medicines Taken Off the Shelves in Ireland

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From the 1st of August 2010 many popular painkillers such as Solpadeine and Nurofen Plus are no longer visible on the pharmacy shelves. This comes on foot of the new statutory guidelines published by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) concerning the supply of non-prescription medicinal products containing codeine.

Availability of Codeine-Containing Medicines in Ireland

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In recent years, there has been a tendency amongst governmental regulatory bodies in different countries, including the Irish Medicines Board, toward de-regulation of prescription-only medicines to pharmacy status medicines in an effort to reduce state drug budgets. This practice has the added benefit of reducing the workload of GPs, of increasing patient self-medication, and, of extending the screening and patient education roles of community pharmacists. Accordingly, and especially in light of the current economic climate, this tendency is unlikely to revert. [1] Regulatory bodies have however faced criticism over this movement due to the safety concerns associated with the increased availability of potentially dangerous drug-substances. Codeine is an example of one such drug.