Sale of popular cough syrups without doctor’s note banned

Drugs in a Nyeri pharmacy. To minimise the risk of addiction, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board has converted medicines that contain codeine from pharmacy-only to presription-only. Photo credit: Daily Nation.

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board has banned the sale of medicines that contain an opioid pain reliever known as codeine without a doctor’s chit.

By clamping the sale of these drugs without proper prescription, the board wants to tame abuse of and addiction to codeine.

Among the drugs that will need a doctor’s prescription before purchase are three common cold medicines and a painkiller.

Prescription will be restricted to three days.

The board also gave manufacturers six months to change packages of drugs that contain codeine to include clear and prominently positioned warnings on labels, summary product characteristics and patient information leaflets about the risk of addiction and the importance of not taking them for more than three days.