Health News

Safe Sales of Paracetamol in Pharmacy and Non-Pharmacy Retail Settings Campaign Launched

Minister for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler has launched a new information campaign to promote safe sales of paracetamol by staff working in pharmacy and non-pharmacy retail settings.

The campaign will promote new information packs that will be available nationally for staff working in pharmacy, and non-pharmacy retail settings. The objective of the information campaign is to:

  • Enhance the messaging around safe sales of paracetamol.
  • Support improved implementation of paracetamol sales regulations.
  • Spotlight the importance of such regulations in the context of self-harm and suicide prevention efforts.

Paracetamol is the drug most frequently used in intentional drug overdose (IDO) in many countries. Its use in IDO is highest among young people (under 25 years) and there is evidence of its incidence increasing in countries, including Ireland.

The campaign aims to improve the alertness of pharmacy and non-pharmacy retail staff to the issue of paracetamol-related intentional drug overdose in Ireland.

Speaking at the launch at the Department of Health, Minister Butler said, “this campaign is a really important action under our national suicide reduction strategy, Connecting for Life. It is an essential part of our work to reduce the level of intentional self-harm with paracetamol. The campaign was developed by a multi-agency working group, with multiple agencies coming together to ensure levels of self-harm and suicide are reduced for the benefit of the population. I would also like to pay tribute to the efforts of everyone involved in this campaign, given the importance of this topic and the lifesaving impact it may have on peoples’ lives.”

John Meehan, Head of the Health Service Executive (HSE) National Office for Suicide Prevention, said, “the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention is very proud to support this information campaign, which aims to increase awareness among retail staff – in very different settings – of the restrictions that apply when selling paracetamol-containing products. We should remember that everyone can contribute to reducing the levels of intentional drug overdose in Ireland. During day-to-day interactions with customers at the point-of-sale, retail staff can be very mindful of the restrictions, and make a positive difference in their community.”

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