News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Consumers face new curbs on access to OTC codeine

December 17, 2009
MEDIA STATEMENT

Consumers to face new curbs on access to OTC codeine pain relievers

The New Zealand Self-Medication Industry (NZSMI), the industry body representing non-prescription consumer healthcare products, today expressed disappointment at measures which will make it more difficult for New Zealand consumers to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers containing codeine.

The Executive Director of NZSMI, Tim Roper, said that the decision from Medsafe’s Medicine Classification Committee (MCC) means that access to OTC analgesics containing codeine will become considerably more restricted in the future.

“The decision of the MCC is very disappointing because the overwhelming majority of consumers use these products appropriately and safely. These medicines play an important role in relieving strong pain, and limitations on their availability will be an enormous inconvenience to thousands of responsible users.

“The decision means that consumers will only be able to purchase small packs of analgesics containing codeine and only after a conversation with their pharmacist, while larger packs will require a prescription from a doctor. This decision will have a huge impact on consumers as well as on the consumer healthcare industry.

“We acknowledge that there is a very small number of people who misuse or abuse analgesics containing codeine and who have suffered serious adverse events as a result. However, it is unlikely that these changes will have any positive impact on problem users,” Mr Roper said.

At this stage the date for implementation is unknown and there is a period where companies can challenge the decision if any further evidence is available which might impact on the decision.

Mr Roper said this means that until the decision is implemented people will be able to continue to purchase these medicines as they currently do. However, he says it is important to use these medicines strictly according to instructions on the label. Longer term use should only be under the supervision of a doctor or pharmacist.

“From our perspective, we do not believe that such measures need to be taken in New Zealand because of the small problem of abuse that is well contained,” he maintains.

Despite its disappointment at the way these changes have been made, the industry remains keen to work with relevant stakeholders to ensure consumers’ best interests are met, including the continued safe and effective use of these products.

Ends

About SMI: The New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association Inc (SMI) is the national trade association representing manufacturers, marketers and distributors of a wide range of products, generally available "over-the-counter" (OTC) and mainly for use in self-medication by New Zealand consumers. SMI’s mission is to promote better health through responsible self-care. This means ensuring that safe and effective self-care products are readily available to all New Zealanders at a reasonable cost. SMI works to encourage responsible use by consumers and an increasing role for cost-effective self-medication products as part of the broad national health strategy.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Rises From The Ashes (& Chris O'Connor Talks)

Simultaneously dreamy and structured, understated and subtle, spacious and hypnotic, The Phoenix Foundation's new album Lifeline includes gorgeous vocal harmonies, lilting lyrics with no lack of wry, self-deprecating humour, and gently weeping guitar parts. More>>



Howard Davis: Estère At San Fran

Appearing at Wellington's San Fran to promote her new single, Calculated Risk, the local musician sutured together a highly impressive set of syncopated soul beats, weaving a brilliant dance cloth of iridescent splendour.More>>

Back On The Stairway To Heaven: Led Zeppelin Wins Over Spirit

In March, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeal upheld an original jury finding that Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven did not infringe copyright in Spirit’s 1968 song Taurus. Michael Skidmore, who had filed the suit in 2014 as trustee of the ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland