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Pharmacists divided over call for solpadeine restrictions

Published 25/09/2006

Pharmacists across the country are divided over the merits of banning over-the-counter sales of the painkiller solpadeine.

Many pharmacists are calling for the drug to be only available on prescription as it is in the United States.

The calls follow concerns about the number of Irish people showing signs of becoming dependent on the pills, which contain the addictive painkiller codeine.

However, Daragh O'Loughlain, the chairman of the Community Pharmacists Committee, said today that banning over-the-counter sales could play havoc with the GP system.

Mr O'Loughlain said today that solpadeine was a very safe drug if used correctly and it was unreasonable to expect people to go to a doctor for a prescription every time they get a headache or toothache.

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