Opioid Expert Working Group

The Opioid Expert Working Group (EWG) met at the MHRA this month to begin the review of the benefits and risks of opioid medicines, including dependence and addiction.
Read MHRA Summary

The EWG will undertake a comprehensive independent scientific review of all available evidence on the use of opioid medicines in the UK,. This group will draw on best practice internationally. The aim is to make sure the information for patients and health professionals will help curb the over-prescription and misuse of these medicines in the UK.

OTCExperts know that in 2006, following a voluntary agreement between OTC product manufacturers  and the MHRA, the following changes on pack were made  to address concerns with OTC opioid medicines,

  • If you need to use this product for more than three days at a time see your doctor, pharmacist or health care professional.
  • Taking codeine/dihydrocodeine regularly for a long time can lead to addiction which might cause you to feel restless and irritable when you stop the tablets.
  • Taking a pain killer for headaches too often or for too long can make them worse.

Whilst this discussion will focus on prescription activities, we will continue to look at the output of this group for any impact within the OTC space.