The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) said it has seen “high numbers of enforcement notices served” concerning high purchase numbers of codeine linctus.

This was revealed in its council papers for the GPhC meeting held in February.  The council papers said “All the enforcement notices came from intelligence-led inspections of pharmacies, acting on information we received about high purchase numbers of codeine linctus.”

In total, it served 27 enforcement notices, of which 21 related to a lack of governance and risk management around the sale of over-the-counter medicines, including codeine linctus and promethazine preparations. 

Chemist and Druggist reported that this is compared to the 11 enforcement notices served in the previous quarter, 10 of which also concerned the “lack of governance and risk management around the sale and supply of codeine linctus preparations”.

In order to address the issue, the GPhC said it raised awareness of the issues and insights found with the sector through stakeholder webinars, as a well as local event “in one area of the country where a number of cases had arisen”.

GPhC enforcement notices (that includes “Improvement notices”) are served when GPhC inspectors have reasonable grounds for believing there is a failure to meet the standards for registered pharmacies, or a failure to meet conditions relating to the standards.  The GPhC policy states that it will use an improvement notice “if we decide that it is likely to result in the pharmacy owner addressing the matters of concern within an acceptable timescale.”

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