New controls over prescription drugs Pregabalin and Gabapentin following rising fatalities.
Prescription drugs Pregabalin and Gabapentin are to be reclassified as class C controlled substances from April 2019, the government announced.
This move comes after experts highlighted rising numbers of fatalities linked to the drugs. The change means it will be illegal to possess Pregabalin and Gabapentin without a prescription and it will be illegal to supply or sell them to others.
The drugs, which are used to treat nerve pain, epilepsy and anxiety, can bring about an elevated mood in users but can also have serious side effects, particularly when used in combination with other drugs.
In 2016, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) raised concerns over medicinal misuse, illegal diversion of the drugs and addiction, and recommended that Pregabalin and Gabapentin should be controlled as class C Drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
The government accepted the ACMD’s advice and launched a public consultation to assess the impact on the healthcare sector. Pharmacies, doctors, pharmaceutical companies and patients responded to the consultation, which was published in October 2018, backing the tighter controls of the drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations.