Smaller paracetamol packs would reduce deaths

However, the continuing occurrence of a considerable number of deaths means further measures are required to reduce the toll, including taking stronger measures to enforce the legislation, further reducing pack sizes or reducing the dosage of tablets from 500mg to 325mg, the authors suggest.

Following a recommendation from the then UK Medicines Control Agency, legislation was introduced in 1998 to restrict pack sizes to a maximum of 32 tablets in pharmacies and 16 in other outlets.

In Australia packs of more than 25 tablets cannot be sold outside pharmacies, and there is no pack size restriction at pharmacies.