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

 

Move to make oral contraceptive pill available from pharmacists applauded

Advancing consumer health through responsible self-care

MEDIA RELEASE

NZSMI applauds move to make oral contraceptive pill available from pharmacists without prescription

February 14, 2017 – Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry (SMI), applauds a breakthrough recommendation by Medsafe’s Medicine Classifications Committee (MCC) to change the classification of certain oral contraceptives from ‘prescription’ to ‘restricted’ medicines, allowing them to be sold over the counter (OTC) to women who meet certain criteria.

“This is a great step forward in improving access to safe and effective medicines, especially for New Zealand women. Pharmacists have already proven they can be responsible and careful when dispensing pharmaceuticals without prescription,” comments SMI executive director Scott Milne.

Trained and accredited pharmacists already dispense Tamiflu antiviral treatment for influenza, trimethoprim for urinary infections, the “morning-after pill” without prescription to patients and a treatment for erectile dysfunction. Audits by Medsafe, have shown this practice is both safe and effective.

“Patients benefit from easier access and less cost. Pharmacists have also shown they advise patients of possible side effects and refer patients appropriately to their GP or nurse if they have issues that need to be addressed.

“There are many medicines which, under certain circumstances, could be provided to patients without the need for GP visits and prescriptions. Like many previous situations where prescription medicines have been reclassified pharmacists will have to undergo specific, audited education programmes before being authorized to supply these products.

“This is a great win for commonsense. We have an excellent General Practitioner service in this country but it is over-burdened. Moves like this reduce doctor waiting lists and allow better use of skilled practitioners’ diagnostic resources. We are not saying that people shouldn’t go to their GP if they believe they are seriously ill but there are many common health needs which normally clear up by themselves in time or with a little help from an OTC remedy from a pharmacy or supermarket.”

Mr Milne says Mrs Alison van Wyk of Green Cross Health and medicines reclassification expert, Dr Natalie Gauld, are to be congratulated for their initiative and perseverance over three years to bring this option to the NZ market in line with a number of overseas markets.

The reclassification is expected to come into effect by the end of February.

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: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>


Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>


Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>


Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

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>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

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