Sales of ibuprofen to be restricted

Countdown stores nationwide are limiting the sale of ibuprofen and items containing ibuprofen to one pack per customer, following similar limitations introduced last year on the sale of paracetamol.

A July 2020 report by coroner David Robinson recommended a limit be introduced on the sale of paracetamol to help reduce the risk of overdose, due to concerns over how easy it had become for anyone to purchase large quantities of over-the-counter painkillers.

Countdown’s head pharmacist, Jeremy Armes, says broadening the limit to include the sale of ibuprofen in its stores is the right thing to do for the safety of customers.

“For many Kiwis ibuprofen and paracetamol are safe and affordable pain relief options conveniently available in supermarkets, which are often open when pharmacies and doctors’ aren’t. Both are incredibly useful and effective medicines, but as with all medicines they should be treated with care and only used as instructed.

“While ibuprofen does not have the same risk profileas paracetamol, misuse can still be harmful. In situations where a customer might want to buy larger quantities, we think the safest way to do this is in a pharmacy environment where a pharmacist can talk through their proper use and risks one-on-one.

“Awareness, education and support are the keys to our mental and physical health and accidental or intentional overdose can have tragic consequences. Anything we can do to help reduce this risk in Aotearoa is important,” says Jeremy.

Ibuprofen is used for the treatment of mild to moderate pain.Customers needing chronic and long-term pain relief can be prescribed larger quantities from their GP or visit a Countdown Pharmacy in-store.