The lowdown on codeine


Pharmacy researchers want to hear your thoughts on what has happened since codeine went prescription-only

Researchers from Griffith University are conducting a survey of pharmacists to ascertain what has happened in pharmacy since codeine was upscheduled early this year.

Aimed at collecting as much information as possible about what has changed in pharmacy practice as a result of the move, the survey will be accessible online till the end of November.   

In the introduction to the survey, the researchers say: “From 1 February 2018, the national Poisons Standard (SUSMP) changed the scheduling of codeine-containing preparations. Now, within the first year after the changes, little is known about impacts or changes to pharmacy practice that have arisen as a result.

Pitcher Partners have joined with researchers from Griffith University to try to explore what’s happened since the change”. 

The anonymous survey can be accessed here

More information about the study can be found here

The research project is entitled: “Exploring the pharmacy practice impacts of the 2018 re-scheduling of codeine containing combination analgesics in Australia (A pilot study)”, and is headed by Dr Phillip Woods, lecturer at Griffith University School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Gold Coast

The survey and its analysis will form the dissertation research project of postgraduate student Simarpreet Tiwana.

The study has two arms:

  1. An analysis of pain-category sales by comparing (selected) pain-category sales from the “before” (Feb 1 re-regulation) and “after” periods. Intention is to collect data from up to 50 pharmacies, for two 6-month periods: one period (pre-re-regulation) during 2017 and another (post Feb-1) for 2018. Data collection is currently underway, but at an early stage. 
  2. A survey of pharmacist practitioners seeking information about what happened since re-regulation of codeine. Three areas of inquiry: (i) Customers; (ii) Merchandising and Sales and (iii) Pharmacy Practice. See attached survey-sample. 

The survey has been approved by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, and given a survey certificate. 

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