Painkillers containing codeine should be sold in smaller packets and available only after consultation, a parliamentary report has recommended.
The cross-party inquiry into painkiller dependency said drugs such as Nurofen Plus and Solpadeine Plus should come with a warning about addiction risks. Any advertising of this class of painkiller should stop, it recommended. The report also urged better monitoring of patients on prescription painkillers and anti-depressants - and their GPs.
The Department of Health needed to set up procedures to ensure that GPs were not prescribing opiates and tranquilisers without good cause, the All Party Parliamentary Drug Misuse Group concluded after a year-long inquiry. Pharmacists should be encouraged to report GPs who appeared to be prescribing outside of guidelines to the local Primary Care Trust.