RPS calls for ban on promotional deals for paracetamol

We have today written to Poundland urging them to stop offering multi-buy deals on paracetamol.

Poundland are running a buy two get-one-free deal which contravenes guidance from the medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency, on best practice for the sale of medicines for pain relief. This guidance is endorsed by the British Retail Consortium, of which Poundland is a member.

RPS President Sandra Gidley said:

“We are extremely concerned by Poundland’s buy-two-get-one-free deal on paracetamol. It’s highly irresponsible and it should be stopped immediately.”

“Medicines should not be treated like other consumer products. Whilst paracetamol is an effective painkiller, it is also a very easy medicine to overdose with and can cause harm, or even death. Guidance on sales and restrictions on pack sizes of paracetamol were introduced to reduce harm and suicides and have been successful in doing so. Promoting multi-buys on paracetamol in this way is unacceptable.

“The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has contacted Poundland on a number of occasions to request they stop promoting paracetamol through multi-buys.

“Poundland’s decision to offer their customers this deal contravenes the voluntary agreements in place which protect the health of the public. Responsible retailers do not provide these kinds of deals.

“Of course when medicines are purchased from a pharmacy, the pharmacist can give advice and help people make an informed decision about their treatment choice.”

Click to read the letter to Poundland.


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