Moves to regulate codeine products welcomed by South Metropolitan MLA

Moves to regulate codeine products welcomed by South Metropolitan MLA

MOVES to regulate codeine products from February 2018 have been welcomed by South Metropolitan MLC Phil Edman.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced on December 20 that all products containing codeine would require a script before they could be purchased.

A statement by the TGA said the decision was based on evidence and advice provided through a lengthy consultation period.

“There is substantial evidence of harm from the abuse and misuse of low-dose codeine-containing medicines,” it said.

“Low-dose codeine-containing medicines are not intended to treat long-term conditions; however, public consultation has indicated that this is how most consumers use these medicines.

“Given these issues, it is clear that alternative regulatory controls are required to drive public health benefits that outweigh the known risks of codeine use.”

Mr Edman congratulated the Federal Department of Health and Health Minister Sussan Ley on the decision.

“This is a big step in the direction of ensuring that people cannot abuse or stockpile medications containing codeine,” Mr Edman said.

Mr Edman was a witness in an arrest at a Rockingham Pharmacy in 2015, after an agitated individual threatened staff and demanded they sell him codeine-based products.

“After witnessing the arrest at the pharmacy, I called for a new approach to be introduced that would curb access to medications containing codeine, and I’m glad that this has come to fruition,” he said.

Criticism has been levelled at the proposal due to the possible increase in workloads that doctors’ clinics may experience.

“I understand that the workload of doctors may increase as a result of this new policy,” he said.

“But I believe that if people are ill enough to warrant moderate to strong pain relief, it would be best to see a doctor anyway.”