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No decision yet on OTC trimethoprim

Your editorial and reporting of the MHRA's consideration of an application to switch trimethoprim to non-prescription status are seriously misleading.

The facts are clear: absolutely no decision has yet been made to make trimethoprim available from a pharmacist without a prescription, either by the MHRA or the Commission on Human Medicines, which is an independent advisory committee. Nor is it awaiting approval from the Government.

We are aware there are divergent views on antimicrobial resistance and we welcome honest and open debate. That is why the MHRA has carried out two separate public consultations, liaising extensively with healthcare professionals and patients, and linking in with experts across Government. It is an area that we take seriously - indeed a working group has been set up to look at the key issue of resistance.

The reclassification of any medicine takes place only after a rigorous assessment of its safety in the circumstances in which it will be used. We evaluate and assess each application individually and on its own merit. The MHRA is committed to ensuring the safe and appropriate use of medicines in the UK, including wider access where it is safe to do so.

Dr June Raine, director of vigilance and risk management of medicines, MHRA

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