Poll: Are you getting codeine backlash?


The OTC codeine ban is here… but what about the expected customer backlash from those who didn’t know?

Last month, the AJP reported that 51% of readers had received “many” complaints about the upschedule of low-dose codeine, which has now come into effect.

During January, while patients were still able to buy the medicines over the counter – if pharmacies had stock – our poll showed that only 15% of readers had not received any complaints about the change.

Mainstream media reports on the upschedule almost reached saturation point over the last few weeks, with the changes discussed in major and local newspapers as well as radio. Several reports revealed considerable anger and frustration among Australians as the upschedule drew near.

Nine News carried two reports in which it warned that pharmacists were bracing themselves for a backlash from customers, particularly those who remained unaware of the change until its implementation this month.

Guild spokesperson Greg Turnbull said there was “some trepidation” amongst pharmacists.

Customers “may well express not only disappointment but anger if they are denied access to this medicine,” he told Nine.

And Adele Tahan, from the Adore Compounding Pharmacy and a Guild NSW Branch committee member, also said she’s fearing a backlash.

Now that low-dose codeine is Prescription Only, AJP would like to know whether the predicted backlash, from patients who hadn’t known about the change, has eventuated.

And if you’ve had angry, aggressive or upset customers, whether they knew the upschedule was coming or not, tell us your experience in comments below.

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