Guest post by @zams123
I t’s worrying how the majority of people in some areas have a problem with drug abuse and addiction. This problem in community pharmacy however can be very annoying.
For example, how many community pharmacists today are faced with frequent over-the-counter requests for co-codamol products? The same people keep coming in to buy co-codamol, solpadeine plus etc feeding the staff and pharmacist with more or less the same story: ‘I’ve run out of my prescription co-codamol 30/500mg tablets’, ‘its for my back pain, nothing else agrees with me’ or even ‘my doctor recommended it’… It becomes conflicting when we are put in a position to refuse the sale; customers kick off and become rude, complaints arise and go to headoffice department, but the end result is that they are going to buy the co-codamol product from another pharmacy using the same story again.
It can also be annoying that GP’s might not realise what our OTC licensing issues are and recommend patients to buy over the counter as it’s probably cheaper than on prescription.
This problem does not just apply to co-codamol, it’s other products too such as codeine linctus and kaolin and morphine. The frequent requests I had in my pharmacy for kaolin and morphine mixture were atrocious that I had to remove it off the shelf.
In my pharmacy we are recording on paper when we sell these products to suspected drug abusers. Apart from this, how else can we resolve issues with codeine addiction and drug misuse?