Road Safety News
 

New THINK! campaign urges drivers to check effects of medicines

Thursday 7th January 2010

Drivers are being warned about the potential effects of medicines in a new THINK! campaign launched on 7 January.

One million leaflets will be distributed through 2,600 Boots stores, and medicine bags will be labelled with stickers prompting drivers to check with their doctor or pharmacist that they are safe to drive while taking their medicines.

This follows a TV, radio and online campaign in August 2009 to target the irresponsible minority who drive while under the influence of illegal drugs.

Paul Clark, road safety minister, said: "We have already run a hard-hitting campaign to tackle those who drive after taking illegal drugs. But it is not just illegal drugs which can affect your driving.  Some medicines may cause drowsiness and impair judgement, increasing the risk of an accident.  

"That is why we are raising awareness of the potential effects of over-the-counter and prescription medicines on driving ability with this new campaign and I am delighted that Boots UK is helping us to get this message direct to their customers."

Paul Bennett, Boots' professional standards director and superintendent pharmacist, said: “It is vital that anyone taking medicine follows the instructions properly and continues to take their course. However, people also need to take into account the potential effects their medicine may have on their ability to drive.

“Regulations already require that a warning is included in the patient information of every medicine which may have such an effect. However, we hope that providing additional information when people collect medicines will prompt them to find out more from their doctor or pharmacist.”

If this campaign is successful it will be rolled out to other pharmacies nationwide.

For more information about the campaign visit: www.dft.gov.uk/think/drugdrive.

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Well done DfT and of course Boots! This campaign highlights the very real danger posed by taking certain over the counter medicines when combined with driving. The graphics act as a clever way of raising the issue to over 1 million consumers. Letís hope that the feedback proves favorable and that it is possible to roll this out to other retailers.

Although it may feel like it, the spring and summer hay fever season isnít that far away and many of the over the counter remedies can cause drowsiness.
James Gibson, Press & PR Officer RSGB

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While I wholeheartedly endorse Don's comments, I feel that insufficient emphasis is placed on driving when one has a cold or flu irrspective of whether one has taken a remedy. Surely driving should not be undertaken when one is feeling anything less than well?
David Daw, Suffolk

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This is so long overdue it is almost comical. As a driving instructor I am forever trying to get this accross especially at this time of year with all the "cold & flu" remedies available over the counter that really can affect the way you drive but people forget almost immediately they finish their lessons.It is mind boggling to think what some take on prescription drugs and then drive because nobody said "No don't drive".
Well done Boots and please, let's make it a permanent feature on the packaging not just a campaign.
Don Harris - Bexhill on Sea

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