UK: Limiting number of pills in paracetamol ‘lead to cut in suicides’

12 February 2013

Deaths from overdoses of paracetamol dropped by 43% in the 11 years after laws were introduced in 1998 that restricted pack sizes in the UK to 32 tablets in pharmacies and 16 in other shops. The study from Oxford University’s Centre for Suicide Research, published in the latest British Medical Journal, estimates that on average, 17 deaths per quarter were avoided in England and Wales as a result of the legislation. The study, however, underlined that there was still a significant death toll from both deliberate and accidental paracetamol overdoses and called for further preventative measures, including even smaller pack sizes (Packaging News, 8 February 2013).