Guild slams reported decision as failing consumers.
The Pharmacy Guild has just issued a statement decrying a decision by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to make codeine-containing medicines prescription-only from 2018.
Although there’s no formal confirmation of the move from the TGA at this stage, News Limited reported the story overnight, saying it’s understood the move will become effective after 12 months to allow time for people with chronic pain to make alternative arrangements with their doctor.
Guild National President, George Tambassis, said the move was “short-sighted and ultimately would only add pressure to the already financially stressed health system, while also increasing the burden on already over-worked doctors”.
“Making these medicines schedule 4 will simply create a barrier to the majority of consumers who use these products safely,” Tambassis said, saying the reported decision came despite the success of the MedsASSIST real-time recording system.
“As custodians of Australia’s medicines schedule, pharmacists will comply with the decision and ensure they are available to advise and counsel patients, many of whom will be disappointed and annoyed that their safe access to these medicines has been denied,” Mr Tambassis said.
More details in today’s issue of Pharmacy Daily.