Medical regulators have asked a panel of experts to look into whether new measures for popular pain relievers need to be put in place amid growing overdose problems.
Australian medical regulators have asked a panel of experts to look at the risks of deliberate overdose involving easily assessable pain relievers such as acetaminophen.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced that it has invited a group of academics to disclose numbers on overdose reports – including emergency room presentations and hospital admissions related to acetaminophen – in an effort to understand whether checks on the popular pain reliever should be implemented.
“The TGA is aware of the concerns, particularly of families and healthcare professionals of paracetamol affected consumers, regarding the number of deliberate paracetamol poisonings and overdoses obtained from general retail outlets and whether current access restrictions are appropriate. “said the regulator.
“This report is intended to help the TGA assess whether any changes to acetaminophen programming, including access or purchase controls, could be warranted.”
There are currently no formal proposals outlining how regulators could strengthen their grip on the drug, although some distributors have toyed with the option of imposing purchase limits on the number of packages consumers can buy in supermarkets.
A spokesperson for GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, which sells Panadol in Australia, told the Sydney Morning Herald the organization recognized the spike in mental ill health during the pandemic in line with an increase in self-harm from pain relievers.
“We share the community’s concern about the intentional misuse of medicines and the complex mental health challenges that underlie this behavior,” they said.
The consumer health agency said it will support package restrictions on non-pharmaceutical sites, but disagrees with a complete overhaul of the regulation.
“We believe a responsible and balanced measure is to implement a two-pack purchase limit for all single active ingredient oral analgesics, sold outside the pharmacy, including all online sales as well as supermarkets and other retail outlets. “, he has declared.
Consumer Healthcare Products Australia, which represents the vendors of the drug, has partnered with policy makers to increase the safety of over-the-counter drugs.
“If implemented, consumers who purchase over-the-counter pain relievers (acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin) from supermarkets, convenience stores and gas stations would be limited to two packs per transaction,” he said.
According to 2019 dataacetaminophen was the most frequently overdosed drug worldwide.
The TGA expert review report will be released by regulators in July.
Originally published as Paracetamol: Therapeutic Goods Administration raises concerns about common pain relievers