Pharmacy Dispensing Affects Painkillers and HIV Medications

By Sharon Smith
Tuesday, 28 April, 2015

The Therapeutic Goods Administration will decide via Advisory Committee whether to move painkillers containing codeine such as Nurofen Plus, Mersyndol and Panadeine from their current Schedule 3 category to a Schedule 4 classification, thus requiring a doctor’s script.
This decision, which will take place in July, is intended to tighten the amounts of codeine currently accessed by Australians who are addicted to the potentially harmful drug and visiting several pharmacies in order to obtain more than five days’ worth. Directing those requiring strong painkillers to a GP or specialist instead is intended to get them the treatment they need, rather than relying on self-medication.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and Pharmacy Guild however oppose the move.
“The proposal won’t solve any problems, it just shifts the problem onto doctors.” Says Victorian president of Anthony Tassone Pharmacy Guild Australia.
In other pharmacy news HIV medications will soon be dispensed through community pharmacy, with Government remuneration. The medicines will retain their Section 100 Highly Specialised Drugs (S100) classification but prescriptions dated 1 July 2015 or later will no longer be restricted to hospital settings.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is producing a resource for community pharmacy in the changes via a webinar on 2 June 2015.

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