Rx codeine move success
The move to prescription-only codeine in Australia has seen a 50% reduction in the monthly rate of codeine-related poisoning calls and halved codeine sales, according to new research led by the University of Sydney.
The study, published in Addiction, is the first peer-reviewed research to examine the short-term implications of the removal of over-the-counter sales of low-strength codeine in Feb 2018.
Sydney Pharmacy School and Director of Research at the NSW Poisons Information Centre and lead author, Dr Rose Cairns, said the data paints a positive picture of the impact of the legislative changes. “We saw a massive and abrupt reduction in codeine poisonings following the 2018 move to prescription-only sales,” Cairns said.
“Interestingly, and despite what many predicted, we didn’t see an increase in poisonings with higher-strength codeine or stronger opioids, so it really is a good news story. “The sales data also showed a similar picture. “There were big reductions in sales of low-strength codeine, with no increase in sales of higher strength codeine.”
Source: pharmacydaily.com.au, 3 October 2019