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Nicotine therapy can be sold in shops

Friday, July 04 16:19:49

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products have been approved for sale in general retail and grocery outlets. Such products are currently only available in pharmacies.

The move has been authorised by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) and relates to NRT products in the Nicorette range.

The products are expected to be available on general sale in Ireland in late August or early September.

Today, RGDATA, the voice of independent retailers, welcomes the decision.

"RGDATA has campaigned for this change over the past 10 years. We have made numerous submissions to make these products available for sale in local shops and are delighted to note that persistence pays off," said Tara Buckley, Director General.

The HPRA's decision to switch Nicorette NRT from 'pharmacy only status' to 'general sale status', follows an application from the authorisation holder "and a detailed assessment of the safety and efficacy of several NRT products which have been available in non-pharmacy outlets in other EU countries for some time".

According to HPRA chief executive, Pat O'Mahony, this move is in line with the authority's policy 'to make healthcare products available at the most convenient point of access for people, where it is safe to do so'.

"NRT products have been in use since the late 1970s and are a well-established treatment for smoking cessation. We have reviewed supporting evidence and experience of NRT use - this includes experience of other EU countries - and we are satisfied that it is appropriate to classify them for general sale in Ireland," he commented.