PAGB comment on reclassification of codeine linctus

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has announced today that codeine linctus, an oral solution or syrup licensed to treat dry cough in adults, is to be reclassified to a prescription-only medicine due to the risk of abuse, dependency and overdose.

Codeine linctus has previously been available as an over-the-counter medicine which could be bought in pharmacies under the supervision of a pharmacist but will now only be available on prescription following an assessment by a healthcare professional.

PAGB, the consumer healthcare association, has welcomed the announcement, with CEO, Michelle Riddalls, sharing:

The over-the-counter (OTC) industry takes any issue relating to patient safety very seriously. Following evidence of the recreational use of codeine linctus, and in line with our consultation response, we support the reclassification of codeine linctus to a prescription-only medicine.

“Patient safety and wellbeing is paramount for manufacturers of OTC medicines. Alongside the MHRA, companies that make OTC products in the UK continually monitor the safety of medicines via routine pharmacovigilance measures.

“The decision to reclassify codeine linctus demonstrates that the reclassification system is effective; this will ensure that people are only able to access medicines that allow them to self-care safely.

Read MHRA’s announcement here:

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