But new research has concluded that this reduction may not have been a result of the change in the law. The study, by Oliver Morgan and colleagues from the Department of Primary Care and Social Medicine, Imperial College London, United Kingdom and the UK Office for National Statistics, is published in the latest issue of PLoS Medicine.
Paracetamol is a cheap and effective pain-killer but overdoses (accidental or deliberate) can be fatal. Many suicide attempts involve paracetamol and it is the commonest cause of acute liver failure in many countries. In the UK, since 1998, pharmacies have not been permitted to sell packs of paracetamol containing more than 32 tablet, and other shops cannot sell packs with more than 16 tablets. Using data from the UK Office for National Statistics, the researchers established that, in England and Wales, the average number of deaths in the five years preceding the regulation was 212/year and in the following five years it fell to an average of 154/year. However, in addition, they found that the number of deaths per year involving any drug – and also ‘non-drug’ suicides – fell during the same period of time. When comparing the trends for paracetamol deaths with other poisoning or suicide deaths, the research ers did not find any statistical evidence that the fall in paracetamol deaths was any different to the overall decline in poisoning or suicide death rates in England and Wales.
The implications of the study are further discussed, in the same issue of PLoS Medicine, by a toxicologist, Professor Nick Buckley (Australian National University Medical School) and David Buckley (University of Bristol, UK). In their view, “It seems most likely that the pack size regulations did change the pattern of paracetamol poisoning but that changes were far more modest than hoped.” Like the authors of the research, they say it is important that, whenever public health legislation is introduced, the impact should be properly evaluated.CONTACT:
Andrew Hyde | alfa
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences