Researchers claim smaller-sized packets of paracetamol have led to a 43% cut in the number of poisoning deaths.

There was an average of 17 fewer deaths for every three months compared to before the legislation was introduced in 1998, a study in England and Wales said.

This was a decrease of 43% in the 11-year post-legislation period. But in spite of the law there are still 121 paracetamol poisoning deaths each year.

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Packs were restricted to a maximum of 32 tablets through pharmacy sales and 16 for non-pharmacy sales to help prevent overdoses.