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A large number will be inconvenienced

From Mr L. A. Berg, MRPharmS

I was interested to read the News feature (PJ, 17 March, p304) concerning the proposed P to POM switch for pseudoephedrine. I believe that most pharmacists would be concerned at losing such a useful drug from over-the-counter sales. There really is nothing else on the market to match the effectiveness and speed of action of pseudoephedrine and I am sure that the demands on doctors and practice nurses will increase alarmingly if the switch happened.

Peter Fellows of the British Medical Association thinks that pseudoephedrine is not widely used in retail practice and that a switch would hardly be noticed. I think he would be surprised, if he spent a couple of hours in a busy pharmacy in winter, to see that it is extremely widely used and that pharmacists are aware and caution customers about its potential to interact with hypertensive drugs.

It seems to me that a large number of customers and doctors would be inconvenienced by the switch — all because of a potential risk of abuse in the manufacture of crystal methylamphetamine. My view is wait and see.

Laurence Berg
Hove, East Sussex

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10003649

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