Firms Seek To Sell Antibiotic Over Counter In UK

France's Sanofi-Aventis (SASY.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) and other drug makers plan to sell an antibiotic over the counter for the first time in Britain, in a move that could spark public health concerns, industry sources said on Friday. Critics fear a relaxation of controls over antibiotics will undermine a drive to reduce their use and put the effectiveness of life-saving treatments at risk. One person familiar with the situation told Reuters that at least three firms had applied to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for a licence to allow pharmacists to sell chloramphenicol earlier this year. A spokeswoman for Sanofi-Aventis, the world's third largest drug maker, declined to comment. The identity of the other firms was not immediately clear.

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