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Ministers order root and branch overhaul of GMC

Migraine drugs are next in line to be considered for a switch to over-the-counter status, Pulse has learned.

This Thursday's meeting of the Committee on Safety of Medicines was due to consider applications for zolmitriptan (Zomig) and sumatriptan (Imigran), according to an industry source.

Neither GSK, manufacturer of Imigran, nor AstraZeneca, manufacturer of Zomig, would confirm or deny the report. But a spokesperson for AstraZeneca said the company had been 'considering this option for Zomig'.

A recent study in The Pharmaceutical Journal suggested most GPs would broadly welcome the move.

The research, which surveyed the views of 435 GPs on proposed deregulation of medicines, found 61 per cent of GPs would support making triptans available OTC and only 23 per cent would object.

But Dr Chaand Nagpaul, member of the GPC prescribing sub-committee, said making triptans available OTC had to be done very carefully.

'Like simvastatin, they will only be affordable to people with adequate incomes,' he said.

'It is even more important that patients take these drugs appropriately. Migraine is a very complex condition that can present in different ways and prophylactic treatments are available.'

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