RACGP President says no need for further review of codeine restrictions

Paul Hayes

27/10/2017 12:00:00 AM

RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel says the time for analysis of codeine up-scheduling is over and state governments’ statements on the issue are unhelpful when they lack evidence.
‘The evidence is clear: codeine is dangerous and the current situation is leading to very severe outcomes. One hundred codeine-related deaths per year is simply unacceptable, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg,’ Dr Seidel said.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt and RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt and RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel

Dr Seidel’s comments come after the states sent a joint letter calling on the Federal Government to better manage the up-scheduling transition, and followed yesterday’s remarks by New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is ‘the Federal Government’s agency so the Federal Government should fix it’.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt addressed codeine up-scheduling during his presentation at GP17 this morning, announcing funding more than $1 million in funding to help educate patients and health practitioners about the February 2018 change. He echoed Dr Seidel’s comments that the evidence around these drugs is clear.
‘Opioids are addictive – and they kill people,’ Hunt said.
Dr Seidel believes the planned up-scheduling is vital for patient safety and will not result in a ‘tsunami’ of patients visiting their GP seeking codeine prescriptions.
‘The current situation is leading to very severe outcomes,’ he said. ‘People don’t realise that codeine is metabolised into morphine, and no one would think to have morphine available over the counter.
‘What we will see is a shift to safer, more effective pain relief.’

codeine opioids pain-management RACGP TGA Therapeutic-Goods-Administration

Login to comment

Dr Andrew Montgomery   15/07/2018 2:53:21 AM

Non steroidals are not addictive but they kill people too.
Dr Seidel needs to present a non emotive analysis wrt analgesia.
Not headline grabbing slogans