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RPS calls for ban on retailers offering paracetamol multi-buy deals


RPS calls for ban on retailers offering paracetamol multi-buy deals

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has called on the Government to introduce legislation banning retailers from offering multi-buy deals on paracetamol, arguing that the present voluntary guidelines are ineffective.

In a statement yesterday (November 6), the RPS said deals like ‘buy one get one free’ on paracetamol products can incentivise people to buy more than they need and lead to stockpiling “which poses a risk of accidental or impulsive overdose”.

The RPS , which has also written to mental health minister Maria Caulfield on this issue, said these deals are a “direct violation” of voluntary guidelines on the sale of analgesics set out by the MHRA , which advises retailers not to sell more than two packs of pain relief medicine in one transaction. 

Arguing that “self-regulation” has not been sufficient to prevent these commercial tactics, the RPS said it had contacted Poundland to ask that it put a stop to its current ‘3-for-£1’ deal on paracetamol, a request that the retailer refused on the grounds that the deal is within the law. 

The Government ’s Suicide Prevention Strategy for England recommends that the MHRA monitor compliance with the voluntary guidelines to assess whether regulatory changes are needed.

RPS president Claire Anderson said: “The sale of medicines carries an extra level of responsibility for retailers as their misuse can pose significant risks to health.

“Ensuring public safety cannot solely rely on voluntary codes of conduct, especially when these codes are openly disregarded by some retailers.

“Through stricter regulation lives can be saved and individuals can be protected from the consequences of paracetamol overdose.

“It’s high time legislation was changed to protect public health and prioritise patient safety over profit.”

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