Analgesic to Be Restricted in UK

July 23, 2013

The government in the United Kingdom is planning to place new restrictions on use of the analgesic tramadol by making it a class C drug.

This would mean that it could still be prescribed and legally possessed and supplied by doctors and pharmacists, but it would be illegal for other individuals to supply, and it would have to be stored in a safe that meets minimum standards set out in law.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has recommended the move on the basis of concerns about the misuse of tramadol and an increase in the number of deaths involving the drug, which have risen from 83 in 2008 to 154 in 2011.

The government has accepted the ACMD's recommendation and Crime Prevention Minister Jeremy Browne has launched a public consultation, in conjunction with the Department for Health, on access to tramadol. The deadline for responses is October 11, 2013.

Browne said, "Tackling drug misuse is a key priority for this government. I am grateful for the advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, in light of growing concerns around tramadol misuse. While tramadol will continue to be available under prescription for those that need it, placing it in a schedule will mean access to the drug will be appropriately restricted."

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