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The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has recently decided to make the antibiotic eyedrop chloramphenicol available over the counter in pharmacies to patients more than two years old (News, June 11).

I have just conducted an audit of a general practice in Ashby de la Zouch (list size 3,100) to see how much general practice time could potentially be saved by such a move. The audit showed that 205 in-surgery appointments and two telephone consultations were spent consulting over bacterial conjunctivitis per year.

The potential saving for this practice of chloramphenicol going OTC is a huge 34 hours and 14 minutes of GP time per year.

Laura Weidner

Final Year Medical Student

University of Birmingham

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