By 2020, pain staff will be behind pharmacy counters

Painkiller pills such as aspirin, paracetamol, and ibuprofen will be put behind pharmacy counters and will no longer be available openly from 15 January 2020 on shelves in France, it has been reported.

There will also be specific information on best practices, the risk of poisoning, the maximum recommended dosage, and other alerts for patients at risk such as pregnant women.

The agency said in a statement in October: “The ANSM wants the medications no longer to be put in free access and instead to be placed behind the pharmacy’s counter, which would strengthen its position inpatient care.”

The drugs will still be available for purchase without a prescription from January 15, 2020, but only from behind the counter, not from the open shelves.

According to the ANSM, sales of these varieties of painkiller medications–including those marketed under brand names such as Doliprane and Dafalgan in France–have risen by 50% over the last 10 years. The FDA announced in July that the products would also provide stronger health warnings, including guidance on the risk of overdose, with the simple phrase written on packs: “Overdose= Risk.”

In July, Le Parisien newspaper reported the case of a 22-year-old who took six to seven paracetamol pills every day f for a liver transplant

A 22-year-old woman from Strasbourg, Naomi Musenga, died in 2017 as a result of an accidental paracetamol overdose in a controversial case in which Ms. Musenga was refused by a Samu dispatcher when she asked for assistance.

The ANSM said in a new statement: “Such drugs are safe and effective when used properly, but pose dangers when used incorrectly. This initiative is part of our action plan to increase the safety of medications,[ including] most importantly the introduction of toxicity alerts and the danger of liver damage on paracetamol boxes in the coming months.”

The department advised the public that the average dosage of paracetamol is three grams every 24 hours for a healthy adult weighing more than 50 kilos, with a delay of at least six hours between each dose.