Codeine products to remain OTC until at least 2017.
The Health Department has just announced the deferral of a final decision on the possible rescheduling of codeine, due to the “large number of submissions received during the most recent consultation period”.
The delay will allow the submissions and subsequent information provided to be thoroughly considered, as well as allowing the delegate to seek further advice prior to making a final ruling, which will not be before 23 June 2016, while any implementation (if required) would not become effective before 2017.
A revised scheduling proposal has been recommended for consideration by the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling, which could still see the current S3 entry for codeine deleted and replaced by Schedule 4, due to issues including morbidity, toxicity and dependence.
However “consideration could also include whether all current Schedule 3 preparations should be rescheduled to Schedule 4, or whether any rescheduling to Schedule 4 should only apply to combination analgesic products containing codeine,” the department said in an update just released.
Consideration could include whether the Schedule 2 entry for codeine should also be amended, the update added.
127 submissions were received, with the vast majority (113) not supporting the up-scheduling proposal.
Full details in tomorrow’s issue of Pharmacy Daily.