Panadol Osteo to stay delisted

white pills - look like codeine combination OTCs

The PBAC has reaffirmed its decision that Panadol Osteo should be delisted.

“The PBAC assessed the issues raised in the correspondence, but did not consider that there was any basis to revisit its earlier recommendations in this regard,” it has said in outlining the outcome of its consideration on the fate of the medicine.

The Pharmacy Guild requested late last year that the PBAC review its decision to delist certain medicines which are also available over the counter from general availability on the PBS, with particular emphasis on the paracetamol 665mg and Panadol Osteo.

However the PBAC did not recommend the restoration of PBS subsidised paracetamol 665 mg for persistent pain associated with osteoarthritis (or restoration of the other OTC medicines for which restrictions were modified in January 2016) beyond the current listings.

More on this tomorrow.

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  1. Richard Lord

    This is a crazy decision to delist Panadol Osteo from PBS.
    Osteoarthritis affects 60% of those over 65 years lld and good pain management requires a baseline dose of two paracetamol tablets three times a day together with stronger opiod analgesics up to twice a day. One complements the other and if you take away the paracetamol then the patient takes more opioid for pain relief with more side effects and health risks.
    Even monkeys can follow the logic but apparently the Dept of Health cannot.

    • russell

      correct Richard. Dept Health goes by another name, Dept Finance. The $ is all that matters unfortunately. When all those bureaucrats develop arthritis for sitting on the bums all day they will understand..

    • William

      It is about as effective as a placebo and is close to maximum dosage. It is relatively cheap so no need for PBS listing so will make way for other more needy compounds.

      • Drugby

        I agree William. The evidence just does not support the use of paracetamol for relief of pain with osteoarthritis. Most patients I talk with are only taking it twice daily anyway so they don’t get the theoretical benefits of sustained release products providing 24 hours analgesia. And Richard’s comments on synergistic benefit of paracetamol with opioids is correct, but, again, there is no evidence for use of opioids in osteoarthritis.
        The best evidence for prevention and treatment of OA is weight loss. OA is not just a ‘wear and tear’ disease, not inflammatory effects of excess fat are a major contributor.
        And as you say, paracetamol is cheap, so I don’t believe the added cost of dispensing fee and AHI is best use of the healthcare dollar.

        • Peter Crothers

          Thanks Debbie. Do you know if the PBAC publishes reasons for its decisions? Being able to follow the thinking would help I think.

          • Debbie Rigby

            Yes, rationale is on their website.

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