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9th August 2018, 11:01

GBC investigation: potentially dangerous Spanish painkiller Nolotil being sold locally

A GBC investigation has revealed that the Spanish painkiller Nolotil, suspected of killing at least 10 British people, is readily available in certain local pharmacies.

According to the Sunday Times, more than 100 tourists and expatriates have suffered after taking the painkiller, which reportedly resulted in blood poisoning, amputation and even death. The Story was also covered by the Olive Press earlier this year.

Nolotil has been licensed for use in Spain, but authorities in the UK, the United States, Sweden and other countries have not licensed it.

In answer to GBC Questions, a Government spokesperson said the drug is not available over the counter in Gibraltar and is not available by way of prescription either. The Government said this is because the drug is not included on the UK National Formulary, the British pharmaceutical reference book.

However, a GBC investigation has revealed that Nolotil can be bought over the counter in several local pharmacies without a prescription. Our Newsroom was able to purchase a box of 20 of the painkillers for just £2.50.

Of the nine pharmacies we contacted, six had the drug in stock or were willing to order it in. Just one said a prescription was needed. Other pharmacies were aware of the risks: two actively warned us against potentially harmful effects.

While not scientifically proven, there are concerns that Nolotil might be especially risky for Northern Europeans. The regulator in Spain has launched an investigation.

GBC‘s findings suggest authorities on the Rock might need to take some steps if they want to prevent an unlicensed, cheap and potentially deadly drug from being sold locally.