I have seen people slide into addiction after taking OTC opiates


Dear PIP Editor,


In response to the following article:


“GPhC sanction six pharmacies over ‘high volume’ codeine sales”


I am very cautious and strict about codeine sales over the counter. I have seen people slide into addiction.

This story refers to codeine linctus which was supplied for the treatment of cough. I don’t feel it should be sold for this purpose.


There are a lot of other safer dry cough medications and remedies that could be used.


I have seen the same patients coming for OTC opiate containing products sometimes a few times in the same week. When challenged they get aggressive and abusive. I have also seen them go to the pharmacy next door when we refuse sales.


This problem is more widespread than people realise I think.


I think making codeine-based OTC products prescription-only would be a good idea. I think this would help make sure action is taken right at the source of the problem and addicted patients can be identified and helped.


Also, the temptation for pharmacy businesses to put profit before patient safety is restricted and stopped.


Yours etc.


Elector Shamba




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