Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Review Of Sleeping Pill Urgently Required

20 May 2002

Review Of Sleeping Pill Urgently Required - Greens

Green Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley today called for a review of the sleeping pill Halcion to see whether it should be withdrawn from the market, as it has been in other countries.

Ms Kedgley said a review of benzodiazepines - a highly addictive class of psychotropic or mind altering drug - was urgently needed in light of the tragic case of an elderly man who almost killed his wife under the influence of a large dose of Halcion.

"Urgent measures are needed to crack down on the use and prescribing of Halcion and other benzodiazepine drugs, and consideration given as to whether these drugs should be reclassified and more tightly controlled.

"It is almost unbelievable that despite the addictive nature and serious side effects of Halcion, it remains the third most prescribed sleeping pill in New Zealand," she said.

The prescribing information for Halcion states clearly that it should only be used for 'severe and disabling insomnia' and should not be given for more than seven to 10 consecutive days. If used for more than two to three consecutive weeks, the prescribing data says there should be a 'complete re-evaluation of the patient.'

Ms Kedgley said doctors have an obligation, under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumer Rights, to discuss the risks of Halcion and other benzodazepines, with their patients.

"None of these things appear to have happened in the case of the elderly patient who almost killed his wife. This man had been prescribed extraordinarily high doses of Halcion for nine weeks, in contravention of the prescribing information for the drug."

Ms Kedgley said the Ministry of Health needed to take a much more proactive stance on benzodiazepines. Its present response, of sending guidelines to practitioners 'encouraging limitation to short-term use only,' was woefully inadequate.

Ms Kedgley said doctors had an obligation, under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumer Rights, to discuss the risks of this class of drug with patients, but it appeared they were not all doing so.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news