Pharmacists warned over kids' cough meds

Pharmacists are being warned they risk legal action for negligence if they knowingly supply cough and cold mixtures to children aged under six, which then result in an adverse event.

The warnings, made by the profession’s own indemnity providers, come six months after a Therapeutic Goods Administration review found the products lacked “robust evidence for their efficacy” and should not be given to children aged under six because there was evidence they may be potentially harmful.

The crackdown, which was welcomed by doctors, has sparked a bitter war of words among pharmacists who insist the risks are exaggerated and the TGA is denying parents treatments for distressed children.

At a pharmacy conference in Sydney, Albert Regoli, director of the pharmacy insurer PDL, said: “Pharmacists owe a duty of care to take reasonable steps to avoid foreseeable risks of injury to