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AFT welcomes new codeine medicine restrictions


AFT Pharmaceuticals (NZX; AFT, ASX; AFP) today welcomes Medsafe’s decision to classify all medicines containing codeine as prescription medicines.

AFT Pharmaceutical’s Managing Director Dr Hartley Atkinson said the New Zealand medicine regulator’s decision was a good result not only for AFT, but also for the country. It would increase demand for AFT’s patented pain relief medicine Maxigesic® and it would also reduce codeine overdoses and poisonings.

Dr Atkinson said: “Maxigesic was developed as a better alternative for pain relief than other combination painkiller products, particularly those containing codeine.

“In the 12 months after Australia rescheduled codeine containing medicines in 2018, sales of Maxigesic tablets increased by more than 50%. Meanwhile, the decision saw a large and significant drop in codeine poisoning calls and this drop began following the announcement and prior to legislative change .

“While Medsafe still has to set the timeframe and programme for the implementation of the new restrictions, it is clear that the harm that comes from access without a prescription to the medicine would now start to ease.”

Dr Atkinson said although AFT expected the decision to drive an increase in Maxigesic sales, it was too early to make precise predictions on the extent of the uplift although some impact on Maxigesic sales in New Zealand would be expected during the FY21 financial year.

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