I suspect the Americans amongst us genuinely don't appreciate quite how illiberal (liberal in the classical, rather than the US sense) recent UK governments have been (and continue to be). Even things as simple as alum powder are becoming hard to buy over the counter here - for our own good one presumes, I'd hate to think there was some unregulated type out there pickling their own cucumbers!
UK chemist shops generally will sell pre-packaged, branded goods and not a lot else. Very poor.
For an idea, my American friends, even Tramodol is unavailable without prescription. Truly mental.
Ah yes, the Nanny State in action huh? Take heart though, our (in the U.S. sense) LibTARDS are working feverishly to funnel us into the "collective" Gov. controlled herd as well. Because we all know how well Bureaucrats manage such things as your life, Money, Education and Healthcare - NOT!
I guess I should leave it at that.