It’s the decision pharmacy has been waiting for – and it’s tipped to be made within a matter of weeks
The future of codeine-containing preparations available without prescription from pharmacy has been up in the air for some time, with the TGA still considering the numerous submissions and advice from the March 2016 meeting of the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling.
In the last week, mainstream media reported that an upscheduling decision was on the cards soon, with one headline declaring, “Goodbye to over-the-counter pain relief”. And at the recent ASMI conference, Health Minister Sussan Ley suggested a final decision would be likely before the end of the year.
This week ASMI restated its support for retaining the current status of OTC codeine-containing preparations, while AJP spoke to leading pharmacist Nick Logan, who said he “hopes the outcome will be based on evidence that shows pharmacists are capable of responsibly managing OTC codeine products”.
MedsASSIST has shown that pharmacists are able to handle codeine-containing medicines in the Pharmacist Only schedule, he says.
Since its national rollout in March, 65% of pharmacies are now taking part in MedsASSIST, with over 3.6 million transactions recorded.
AJP would like to hear your predictions for the future of OTC codeine-containing preparations. Do you think the TGA will opt to keep the status quo—or reschedule these products to prescription-only? Let us know why in comments!