Supermarkets to sell asthma inhalers over the counter
Published: 21st Jul 2012 03:06:45
Asthma inhalers will go on sale in supermarkets for the first time this month, allowing sufferers to get the medicine without seeing their doctor.
Asda said it would start selling blue reliever inhalers over the counter without prescription from Tuesday.
Customers over 16 will be able to buy two inhalers for £7 instead of the normal prescription charge of £7.65.
The Department of Health said medicines must be dispensed "in line with all legal requirements".
There are two different types of inhalers, "reliever" and "preventer" ones, available to the 5.2 million people in the UK who suffer from asthma.
Blue reliever inhalers - the ones Asda will be selling - contain the drug salbutamol and are used if someone is feeling wheezy or suffering an attack.
Preventer inhalers are taken twice daily to help keep asthma under control.
Faisal Tuddy, deputy superintendent pharmacist at Asda, said the service was designed to be easy and convenient but would be closely monitored.
"All of our pharmacists have been trained and know they mustn't sell the inhalers without due care," he said.
Dr Samantha Walker, executive director of research and policy at Asthma UK, said the scheme was interesting in principle but she was uncertain how it would work in practice.
She said: "We applaud anything that is going to help asthma suffers but this new service has raised a few questions for us.
"Our main worry is people will overuse their inhalers when they know this service is available. If you use your inhaler too much you may end up in hospital."
Customers will be limited to two inhalers at a time which will have to last them eight weeks.
They will need to fill in a questionnaire about their condition before buying the medication.
Qualified pharmacists and an online doctor service will oversee the sale of the inhalers.
A Department of Health spokesman said: "Medicines should be dispensed by appropriately qualified staff and in line with all legal requirements."
At 01:45:16 in WorldThe National Guard has begun withdrawing from Ferguson, Missouri, where the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman has sparked days of protests.
At 01:11:34 in HeadlinesThe streets of Leeds will be awash with the sights, sounds and scents of the West Indies on Monday, but how did carnival spirit make the journey from the sun-drenched islands of the Caribbean to the cooler climes of Chapeltown?
At 01:08:28 in HeadlinesThe British Newspaper Archive is a treasure trove of outlandish tales from the Victorian press. Author Jeremy Clay tells the story of a monkey that went on a drunken rampage.
At 01:07:30 in HeadlinesDo you know your ancient from your modern? Test your knowledge of British history with these 12 quick questions.
At 01:00:22 in HeadlinesAttempts to cut the amount people smoke are being hit by a black market trade in millions of illegal cigarettes, council bosses have warned.
At 00:47:56 in TechnologyCan you keep a secret? The technology industry sure can't.
At 00:44:30 in WorldResidents of south China are often caricatured as enthusiastic eaters of dog meat.
At 00:39:00 in WorldOn the morning of 19 August 1944, a 28-year-old Frenchman called Georges Loiseleur hurried down to the street from his flat on the Quai des Grands-Augustins.
At 00:31:41 in HeadlinesA study has found a "considerable richness" of wild bee species in most types of urban habitats.
At 00:28:31 in EnglandA historian has hailed a 9th Century silver buckle discovered on farmland in Suffolk as a rare find.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Supermarkets to sell asthma inhalers over the counter [Online] (Updated 21st Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1441842/Supermarkets-to-sell-asthma-inhalers-over-the-counter [Accessed 23rd Aug 2014]
News In Other Categories
Can you keep a secret? The technology industry sure can't.
A 91-year-old great-grandmother needed surgery after being bitten by a dog while walking home in Cardiff.
The National Guard has begun withdrawing from Ferguson, Missouri, where the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman has sparked days of protests.
Rory McIlroy fought back from a rusty start with a second-round 65 to ease into contention in the first of the four PGA Tour play-off events.
Authorities in New York have denied parole to the man who shot dead musician John Lennon in 1980 for the eight time.
BT has warned millions of customers it is increasing its prices by up to 6.5% from December this year.