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Praise again for pharmacy over successful pseudoephedrine controls

By News team

Pharmacists have once again been thanked for making a “substantial contribution” to managing the potential misuse of medicines containing pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, which can be used in the illegal manufacture of methylamphetamine, or “crystal meth”.

The praise comes from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency following its 2012 review of sales restrictions which were introduced for the products in 2008 (PJ 2008;280:351) — and which the MHRA has concluded should remain in place.

Over the past year, the Association of Chief Police Officers reported just one incident of small-scale manufacture of methylamphetamine. “There was no evidence that this one report was indicative of a trend. The number of registered methylamphetamine addicts remains small,” the review says.

There is little to suggest a problem with methylamphetamine misuse in the UK, the ACPO concluded.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society President Martin Astbury said: “The response of the profession to potential misuse of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine has been highly commendable. I am confident that pharmacists will continue to effectively manage this important public health issue.”

A quick reference guide “Pseudoephedrine and ephedrine: look, listen and report your suspicions”, is available to Society members and the topic is also covered in Medicines Ethics and Practice, the RPS says.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11110539

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