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New Code key step in regulating psychoactive substances


New Code of Manufacturing Practice key step ineffectively regulating psychoactive substances

Associate Minister of Health Todd McClay has said that the Psychoactive Substances Code of Manufacturing Practice which comes into force today is the latest regulatory measure to minimise harm to individuals from psychoactive substances.

It focuses on ensuring 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 is similar to the standards required in the manufacture of therapeutic medicines and is likely to impose a significant cost on manufacturers to ensure product safety through reputable manufacturing practices.

“Since July last year the Act has been effective in removing psychoactive substances from an uncontrolled, unregulated setting and now allows for effective monitoring and control – including punishing those who choose to disregard the law”.

“Before the Act came into force some 200 ‘legal high’ products were sold from an
estimated 4,000 outlets throughout the country to people of all ages. Now there are around 47 products on the market sold from 170 outlets – a reduction of over 75% of products and over 90% of outlets. It is also now illegal to sell or give these products to anyone under the age of 18”, says Mr McClay.

“In addition, work continues on further regulations to the Act, which will put in place additional controls and safeguards around psychoactive products.

Consultation on these regulations will commence in February."

“With the Code of Manufacturing Practice and the new regulations around testing of psychoactive substances the Act will fully come into force as a transparent and effective control of ‘legal highs’”, says Mr McClay.


Background to the Code
The Code is based on New Zealand’s approach to regulating pharmaceuticals and
takes into account international best practice in chemical manufacturing. It details the quality requirements necessary for manufacturers to demonstrate that they are able to produce psychoactive substances and products that:

Are manufactured in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) licensed facilities.
Are manufactured to defined quality standards
Use ingredients that comply with internationally established standards
Comply with a set of specifications agreed by the Psychoactive Substances
Regulatory Authority as part of the product approval.

The Code and implementation plan can be seen at:

http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/regulation-health-and-disability-system/psychoactive-substances/code-manufacturing-practice

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