Reduced Analgesic Packaging


(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)


Keith Hawton

This intervention involves passing legislation to limit the size of analgesic packaging as a way of reducing access to potentially lethal means. In response to an increasing number of self-poisonings with analgesics (acetaminophens and salicylates) in the United Kingdom, Parliament passed legislation in 1998 limiting the pack sizes of these drugs.  Before the legislation, pharmacies could sell unlimited amounts of analgesic tablets.  After legislation, pharmacies were limited to 32 tablets per sale and non-pharmacy outlets were limited to 16 tablets per sale.  In addition to packaging limits, specific printed warnings about the dangers of overdose with these analgesics were included with all sales.  

Note: This intervention is a legacy program from the SPRC/AFSP Evidence-Based Practices Project (EBPP), which stopped conducting evidence-based reviews in 2005 when SAMSHA began reviewing suicide-related interventions for NREPP.

2012 NSSP Objectives Addressed: 

Objective 6.3: Develop and implement new safety technologies to reduce access to lethal means.