Govt takes action on Spanish painkiller after GBC report
The Gibraltar Government has alerted both the Royal Gibraltar Police and HM Customs to a number of local pharmacies selling a potentially dangerous Spanish painkiller Nolotil over the counter.
The move follows a report on GBC which found that the drug, although available legally in Spain, has not been licensed for use in a number of countries, including the UK.
The drug is not included in the UK national formulary and, as such, should not be available over the counter in Gibraltar or by way of prescription.
According to a GBC, however, the drug can be bought over the counter in several local pharmacies without a prescription.
A GBC journalist was able to purchase a box of 20 of the painkillers for just £2.50.
Of the nine pharmacies GBC contacted, six had the drug in stock or were willing to order it in. Just one said a prescription was needed.
Other pharmacies were aware of the risks, while two actively warned against its potentially harmful effects.
In answer to questions a Government spokesman said: “The Government has alerted the Royal Gibraltar Police and HM Customs.”
“In addition, it would be possible for the Business Licensing Authority, in consultation with the Medical Registration Board, to remove premises registered as a pharmacy from the register of pharmacies.’
GBC looked into the availability of Nolotil in Gibraltar after the Sunday Times reported that at least 10 Britons in Spain had died after taking the medication.
According to the publication, more than 100 British and Irish expatriates and holidaymakers in Spain had suffered devastating side effects after taking the drug.
Additionally, the medicines regulator in Spain confirmed it had launched an investigation into concerns that northern Europeans may be more at risk of side effects from the drug Nolotil.