BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to test the assumption that liberalizing community pharmacy ownership in Iceland would lead to increased irrational use of over-the-counter pain relievers containing codeine. METHODS: Based on this assumption we built and tested a model using an interrupted time series design that contrasts the monthly sales data for over-the-counter pain relievers containing codeine before and after the legislation took effect. RESULTS: The total use of over-the-counter pain relievers containing codeine as well as those containing paracetamol and codeine has risen steadily throughout the period under study. The interrupted time series did not show a substantial effect from the legislative change on the use of all over-the-counter codeine pain relievers, paracetemol with codeine, and aspirin with codeine combinations. CONCLUSION: The assumption that increased access leads to irrational use of over-the-counter medicines is not substantiated in the case of over-the-counter pain relievers containing codeine.
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 2000, Vol 28, Issue 4, p. 270-4
Analgesics, Opioid; Codeine; Health Services Accessibility; Health Services Misuse; Humans; Iceland; Models, Statistical; Nonprescription Drugs; Ownership; Pharmacies; Self Medication; Time; Evaluation Studies; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't