The Corner

Ban Big Bottles of Tylenol?

I believe in reasonable regulations to protect public safety, for example, requiring that an odor be put into natural gas and the wearing of seatbelts in cars. Now, Ezekiel Emanuel has a piece in the New York Times advocating a requirement that aspirin and Tylenol be put in blister packaging because they can be used too easiliy in suicide or cause accidental poisoning. From his piece:

We need to make it harder to buy pills in bottles of 50 or 100 that can be easily dumped out and swallowed. We should not be selling big bottles of Tylenol and other drugs that are typically implicated in overdoses, like prescription painkillers and Valium-type drugs, called benzodiazepines. Pills should be packaged in blister packs of 16 or 25. Anyone who wanted 50 would have to buy numerous blister packages and sit down and push out the pills one by one. Turns out you really, really have to want to commit suicide to push out 50 pills. And most people are not that committed.

Like I said, reasonable regulation is legitimate. But at what point does too much become too much?

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