Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Medicines regulation

Pharmacists oppose Pfizer’s plan to make Nexium Control more widely available

Pharmacists are opposing proposals to allow Pfizer’s proton pump inhibitor (PPI) Nexium Control to be made available through non-pharmacy outlets.

The Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists (GHP), supported by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), says changing the medicine’s status from a pharmacy (P) to a general sale list (GSL) product would lead to uncontrolled access, exposing patients to the increased risk of avoidable side effects.    

The GHP says Pfizer’s argument that product labelling would ensure appropriate use is “questionable”.

“Not everyone who experiences heartburn needs a PPI. The use of PPIs would be increased through greater accessibility of Nexium as a GSL medicine, leading to increased profitability to Pfizer but not necessarily appropriate or safe treatment for patients and with greater cost to the public,” the GHP says in its response to a consultation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which ran from 2 July to 23 July 2014.

The consultation followed the decision by the European Commission in August 2013 to allow Nexium Control to become a non-prescription medicine. That decision, according to Pfizer, relied on product information as the main risk minimisation tool, and not an intervention by a pharmacist. Pfizer told the MHRA that the product’s active ingredient esomeprazole had been sold safely elsewhere in the world in non-pharmacy outlets.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20066006

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.