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Psychoactive substances regulatory action taken

Psychoactive substances regulatory action taken

Media release

01 May 2014

Six psychoactive products are to be recalled from the market after they were found to pose more than a low risk of harm to the public.

The move comes after monitoring by the Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority.

The Authority is issuing a recall notice to product suppliers after revoking the licences for these products:

Apocalypse, Outbreak, WTF, Blueberry Crush, White Rhino, Lemon Grass.

This action follows the withdrawal of five products earlier this year. The Authority will continue to receive and assess reports of adverse affects.

Product suppliers are required to notify retailers who are holding the products to recall the removed products.

With immediate effect retailers can no longer sell the products as they are now unapproved. Retailers should securely store these products and return them to their suppliers.

Enforcement of these regulatory actions will be by Police, the Authority, and public health units.

Any member of the public holding the product should not consume it. If they are concerned about their health after taking any psychoactive substance, they should contact health services, call Healthline on 0800 611 116 or call the National Poisons Centre 0800 POISON (0800 764 766) - this number is printed on all approved products.

If they are concerned about the health effects stemming from the usage of psychoactive substances, and need confidential advice and support for themselves or someone they know, contact the Alcohol Drug Helpline 0800 787 797.

Read more about the product revocations

The Authority has also taken regulatory action involving all manufacturer licences because of insufficient compliance to date with the Code of Manufacturing Practice. One licence has been cancelled, and 8 are suspended or have had an earlier suspension extended. One licence was surrendered earlier this year.

The Manager of the Authority, Dr Donald Hannah, says the two actions are part of the usual business of the Authority and are not related to the recent decision by the Government to bring forward the end of the interim phase of the Psychoactive Substances Act, and for parliament to consider amendments to the legislation.

“The suspension of the manufacturing licences is not related to adverse reaction reports, but is because manufacturers have to varying degrees failed to date to provide sufficient information about their compliance with the Code. This means that while a manufacturer may be suspended, their product can remain on the market unless it is among those which have today or previously been revoked by the Authority “

Dr Hannah says the Authority will be further assessing manufacturer data. Future action could range from lifting of suspensions through to cancellation of licences and recall of products.


Further background

About the assessing of harm

The revocation action has been taken following assessment of reports of adverse reactions reported to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM), National Poisons Centre and the Alcohol Drug helpline. These reports demonstrate each of the six products pose more than a low risk of harm to the consumer.

The Authority uses a risk assessment framework which takes into account reports of adverse reactions among other factors. Taking recent reports into account all the withdrawn products now score above the threshold deemed to pose more than a low risk of harm. The reports include nausea and vomiting, insomnia, acute psychotic reaction, and prolonged withdrawal.

If people have remaining products that are now banned they can return these to the retailer or local police.

About the Code of Manufacturing Practice

The Code of Manufacturing Practice came into effect on 17 January 2014. The Code focuses on making sure all psychoactive products on the market in New Zealand are made to a consistently high standard in clean, controlled environments, and details the quality control requirements for psychoactive substances and products. The code has a number of milestones that manufacturers must comply with, including provision of certain data by certain dates.

For more information, view How the Authority is assessing interim products

About the Psychoactive Substances Act

Detailed information about the Psychoactive Substances Act is available in the Psychoactive substances section, including status of licences.

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