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Paracetamol regulation findings

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Researchers found little evidence to support a hypothesis that regulations limiting paracetamol (acetaminophen) package sizes resulted in fewer poisoning deaths. Findings from an observational study by Oliver W. Morgan, Department of Primary Care and Social Medicine, Imperial College, London, et al., published in the April PLOS Medicine contradict a 2004 British Medical Journal study. The BMJ study found U.K. legislation limiting the number of acetaminophen and aspirin tablets sold in retail transactions reduced the number of overdose deaths (1"The Tan Sheet" Nov. 8, 2004, p. 9). Morgan et al. say decreased paracetamol-poisoning mortality coincided with the regulation. However, fatal poisonings involving aspirin and antidepressants also dropped. "This raises the question whether the decline in paracetamol deaths was due to the regulations or was part of a wider trend," they say...

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