Buying Drugs

Paracetamol (as it is known in most of the world) or acetaminophen (as it is known in North America) is the most commonly overdosed drug. Nonetheless, in the US you can go to Wal-mart and get a tub of 225 of them, since they are perfectly safe when taken as directed. In the UK you can get 16. That’s right. The biggest pack of paracetamol is 16.

Legally you can buy six packs, but most stores, convinced by propaganda, will only sell you two. In fact, when the discount store Poundland started offering three packs for £1, there was quite a kerfuffle. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is ‘extremely concerned’.  The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency wants to change the law because they accuse Poundland of exploiting a loophole.

It’s not the price. You can get three 16s at Asda cheaper. Of course you would have to buy two packs,  take them out to your car, go back into the store and buy another pack, because this is apparently effective suicide prevention. The Goverment here thinks that you will buy the 32 (enough at once to damage or kill you anyway), and then think, “I’d like to do the job right, but since I’ll have to walk back into the store and pick another pack off the shelf, and go to the self-checkout, and fish out another 30p from my pocket, and take my receipt, and walk back out to my car… I’ll just go ahead and get on with my life.”

But the propaganda war as virtually been won. As reported in the Daily Mail,

Nurse Nichola Sheehan, who was stunned to spot the offer at her local branch in Chatham, Kent, said the offer could prove deadly and accused the chain of the ‘height of irresponsibility.’

Mother-of-two Mrs Sheehan, 47, who has worked for the NHS for more than 20 years, fears the offer could lead to tragedy as a dose of just eight paracetamol can prove fatal.

If eight is fatal, it’s seems like one pack of 16 would be more than enough. By Mrs Sheehan’s logic, they shouldn’t be selling it over the counter. In fact, they probably shouldn’t be selling it at all. It should only be available in a hospital administered by a doctor and locked in a cupboard.

Do we ever wonder why this country is going down the pan? The Government is busy micro-managing our lives, telling people how much paracetamol they can buy.

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3 Responses to “Buying Drugs”

  1. Elizabeth Says:

    Sol,
    the bit that really makes me irate is the fact that in many supermarkets, they will not even allow you to buy two packs of paracetamol and one pack of aspirin/ibuprofen in case you take them all at once.

    This is regardless of the fact that the two medications are perfectly safe to take together (at the recommended dosages, of course !) as they have different pharmacological actions and affect completely different biological pathways….. go figure.

    So now I buy my OTC medications from the local pharmacist, where they are intelligent, knowledgeable and helpful……

  2. Steve Says:

    I find it strange that doctors so often recommend paracetamol in preference to aspirin. Aspirin apparently has some beneficial side effects, though is harmful if one takes too many at once. But paracetamol is far more harmful.

    I suppose the great advantage of paracetamol is that you can commit suicide irrevocably, but still have time to repent before you actually die.

    I do find it a bit odd that you should criticise Frank Schaeffer for saying that the state should not interfere in abortion, and yet object to it interfering in unassisted suicide. Does that mean that you are selectively pro-life?

  3. sol Says:

    Should we make people buy rope in segments short than required to hang oneself, or tubing shorter than can reach from an exhaust pipe into the passenger compartment of a car?

    An abortion is the intentional taking of another, innocent, human life. It has no other function. Paracetamol is primarily an analgesic medicine. Just like countless other substances and means, it can be used to commit suicide by someone determined to do so.

    If a medicine is such that it would kill a person to accidentally take 2 pills instead of 1, then I could understand the careful regulation of that drug. Those sort of drugs are normally available only by prescription and in very limited quantities at any given time. Where you can already buy enough paracetamol in one purchase to kill you, but you can double the number in your possession just by visiting the same supermarket twice, the law seems pointless.

    That being said, I should be clear that I am selectively pro-life. I am not pro-life for the sake of being pro-life. I think the Scriptures are clear that not all life is to be protected. I think there is just war and just capital punishment. I think that the use of deadly force in defense of oneself or one’s family is legitimate. I think that neither applies to the unborn.


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