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Research on party pills welcomed but more to come

Research on party pills welcomed - but more to come

Dr Gee's research on 61 patients admitted to Christchurch hospital after taking party pills was welcomed today by Associate Health Minister and Chair of the Committee on National Drug Policy, Jim Anderton, but there is more research yet to come.

"In New Zealand drugs are classified on the basis of evidence of harm, and Dr Gee's research will contribute to the collection of evidence to be reviewed on harm caused by party pills," the Progressive leader said.

Party Pills were regulated this year to R18 by Jim Anderton as Associate Health Minister, based on the evidence available which was assessed by the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs (EACD).

"I am aware of Dr Gee's research but his study is just one of number being pursued at the moment. The National Poison Centre has research underway into the effects of BZP and further research has also been funded from the government's National Drug Policy Discretionary Fund.

This further research is being undertaken by the University of Auckland (this is on party pill use by young people) and SHORE (the Centre of Social Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation). They are researching the health harms and prevalence of party pill use.

"If the results of all these studies point to the necessity for a ban then, no doubt, the experts will recommend that, and I will act on their advice. I note that these products are better regulated now than they ever have been," Jim Anderton said.

The Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs will meet with researchers once the research is complete, before giving further consideration and advice on the legal status of BZP. When the EACD first assessed BZP, they called for more research and information and the government has responded.


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