A TV personality has received criticism after saying he was planning to stock up on codeine… but he’s not sorry
Andrew “Cosi” Costello, who presents the “South Aussie with Cosi” TV show, wrote on his Facebook page that “I’M BUYING DRUGS THIS WEEK !! 👍”
“I’ll be honest and say our family has been ‘stocking up’ on codeine,” Cosi wrote.
“Last time you can buy it over the counter is THURSDAY. After that you need a prescription from your GP.
“Whilst I’m no expert in this area as far as addiction I reckon this change will make a huge impact on our medical system. FOR THE WORSE.
“It will further clog GP waiting rooms around the country and make it harder for working people or the elderly to access pain relief. When you are time poor it’s bloody hard to make time to go see a GP in the first place.
“So in the name of saving tax payers a truck load of money and saving ourselves a shit load of time the Costello family will be stocking up this week before the change. This new rule seems like a dumb one to me. Someone’s going to be cashing in at the expense of Medicare.”
The post received a slew of comments, several of which criticised Cosi’s intent to buy up OTC codeine.
“And because of people like you this whole change has happened,” said one respondent. “I’m in pharmacy and anyone ‘stocking’ up is labelled as addicted. I can count on one hand how many single codeine tablets I take per year. Absurd. Anyone needing them often enough to stockpile should have been under the care of a GP a long long time ago.”
This commenter later said that “I sold 67 million packs today to people stockpiling”.
Another commenter, a nurse, wrote that, “Most families don’t need codeine based drugs for regular ailments like headaches, backaches etc, usually regular paracetamol at the prescribed dosage is enough, if you have a condition that requires stronger pain relief then it should be managed by a doctor, as there a better solutions out there than self medication with drugs like codeine.
“I also hope you are not giving it to the kids.”
Another pharmacy worker wrote, “In my years in pharmacy I’ve never seen so many excuses and people with ‘back pain’ and why would you need codeine for just a headache. Come on!! ”
Cosi later spoke to Fiveaa Talking Adelaide and said he’s sticking by his Facebook post.
“When I say stocking up, I mean half a dozen boxes from a couple of different pharmacies,” he said on Wednesday, the last day before the upschedule came into effect.
“My missus, she gets a problem with her wisdom tooth. It flares up once every six weeks or so for a couple of days — she takes these tablets and it goes away.”
He said he expects the upschedule to result in “ginormous” difficulty for people who “genuinely need” OTC codeine, due to the need to visit a GP to discuss pain relief.
“If I want a codeine product I don’t want to take the spot in waiting room over someone else that’s got a really genuine full on enquiry.”
Some Facebook comments have been edited for spelling and punctuation.