Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson has called for compulsory real-time monitoring of codeine based medicine in pharmacies as part of a common sense approach to maintain safe and appropriate access to pain relief medications containing codeine without a prescription.


Mr Anderson said the decision taken by the Federal medicines regulator to up-schedule medicines containing codeine to prescription-only will have a heavy impact in rural and regional areas.


“Access to general practitioners at short notice can be more difficult in smaller regional communities which is why I’m calling for a common sense approach to dispensing medications containing codeine.


“We want to ensure that those with acute pain who require pain relief medicine containing codeine can get it from their local pharmacist when they need it. This is about putting patients first, especially those living in our more remote communities.


“Anyone who has suffered acute pain understands that you need the relief when you have the pain, not at the first available appointment with your GP.


“I have met with the Pharmacy Guild and local pharmacists and I believe the best solution is to implement compulsory real-time monitoring for codeine.


“Most pharmacies already have real time monitoring for these types of medications which prevents people from “pharmacy shopping”.


“I understand that the Federal regulator is trying to address dependence and abuse issues which affect some patients using these medicines inappropriately, but I don’t think up-scheduling is the answer.”


Medicines containing codeine which are currently available over-the-counter will be moved to prescription-only from 1st February 2018.

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