RACGP President wants states to consider patient safety in codeine up-scheduling

Paul Hayes

3/11/2017 5:06:30 PM

RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel has called on Australian health ministers to consider patients before making any decisions that will soften codeine regulations.

Codeine safety measures need to put patients first
Codeine safety measures need to put patients first

‘The evidence is clear: codeine is dangerous and the current situation is leading to severe health outcomes,’ Dr Seidel told newsGP. ‘What we need now is strong leadership from our state health ministers and an approach to codeine safety measures that first and foremost put patients first.
‘We need to see policy and decision-making driven by evidence, not by industry interest. Codeine products must not be available over the counter without a script.’
Health ministers from all states except South Australia recently lobbied Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt to wind back some elements of the planned up-scheduling, due to take effect from 1 February 2018, that will make codeine products prescription-only.
Drug-related deaths in Australia are at their highest levels in the last two decades, with prescription drugs overtaking their illicit counterparts in terms of types of drugs involved in overdoses. In addition, figures released earlier this year reveal three-quarters of recent painkiller/opioid misusers in Australia reported misusing an over-the-counter codeine product in 2016.

codeine pain painkillers pain-management

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Terry Ahern   7/11/2017 9:36:14 AM

RACGP is to be congratulated for codeine reforms against the Pharmacy Guild demands .
But we GPs need more funding and education to manage the increasing number of chronic pain patients .