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Opioids to be labelled with addiction warning in UK

Published on 29/04/19 at 09:31am

All opioid medicines sold in the UK will be labelled with a warning as to the potential for addiction, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced.

The measure comes as part of an effort to protect patients “from the darker side to painkillers,” Hancock said.

The move comes amid a more than 60% increase in the number of prescriptions for opioid painkillers in the past ten years.

Figures showed the number of prescriptions for opioids increased from 14 million in 2008 to 23 million last year.

Meanwhile the number of codeine-related deaths more than doubled between 2008 and 2018, as more than 150 codeine-related deaths were recorded last year.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I have been incredibly concerned by the recent increase in people addicted to opioid drugs.”

“Painkillers were a major breakthrough in modern medicine and are hugely important to help people manage pain alongside their busy lives but they must be treated with caution.”

“We know that too much of any painkiller can damage your health, and some opioids are highly addictive and can ruin lives like an illegal drug.”

“Things are not as bad here as in America, but we must act now to protect people from the darker side to painkillers.”

Louis Goss

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