OTC codeine gets a reprieve


27 Nov 2015

Moves to re-schedule over-the-counter codeine products to prescription-only status have been put on hold.

The decision on whether to reschedule drugs that contain codeine combinations has been deferred until June 2016 to allow the TGA to evaluate the large number of submissions.

The TGA received 127 submissions, of which 113 were in opposition to the proposal to reschedule the drug.

The reasons cited by those opposed to the move were many, and included:

Upscheduling seen as prevention of accessing pain relief;

Issues with access to/cost associated seeing GPs;

Alternative medications not seen as effective;

Cost to Medicare; and

Benefits of codeine outweigh “morbidity, toxicity and dependence”

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