ASMI welcomes deferral of codeine decision

19 November 2015

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The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) welcomed the Therapeutic Goods Administration's (TGA) announcement that a final decision on the scheduling of over-the-counter codeine medicines will be deferred.

ASMI Chief Executive Officer, Deon Schoombie, said: "This is a positive outcome. It reflects the views of the great majority of stakeholders and will allow consumers to continue to have appropriate pharmacy access to codeine-containing medicines.

"There is no evidence that cold/flu medicines are being misused therefore current scheduling remains appropriate for them.

"ASMI maintains that a real time monitoring system is the most appropriate way to reduce potential misuse of codeine-containing analgesics.

"The industry, pharmacy and consumer groups have jointly developed a real time monitoring prototype, which will help pharmacists to determine if a codeine-containing analgesic is appropriate for a particular condition or consumer. We will continue to work with these groups to ensure the timely implementation of the system.

"Real time monitoring will assist pharmacists to identify at-risk consumers, facilitate access to education materials and support referral to a pain specialist when necessary. It will also ensure the majority of consumers who use codeine-containing analgesics responsibly still have pharmacy access to them.

"ASMI believes the real-time monitoring system should be part of a package of measures to address potential misuse of codeine-containing analgesics, including front-of-pack warnings about the risk of codeine addiction and information/training resources for pharmacists and consumers," he added.

Media contact: Marie Kelly-Davies 0408256381