What you need to know if you use cold and flu medication
IT SEEMS the actions of a few are punishing the many with new legislation beginning next year requiring a prescription for all medications containing codeine.
From February 2018, traditional cough, cold and flu remedies, alongside pain killers, which contain codeine will no longer be available from pharmacists over the counter under the Federal Government policy.
While the legislation change is an attempt to combat medication abuse and addiction, owner of Chempro Caloundra, Vijay Amin believes the change will strain GPs and will hinder people getting appropriate help to manage their pain.
"Our experience is that most people take it (codeine) safely and appropriately for short-term use," the pharmacist said.
"It's the minority of people who may overuse it and actually suffer from the side-effect of addiction.
"What it generally means is a lot of people who do use it appropriately could be disadvantaged due to that minority where overuse could be occurring."
How often do you use codeine?
This poll ended on 23 November 2017.
Never or extremely rarely.
A few times a year.
Every few weeks or more.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
The solution, according to Mr Amin, could be the compulsory adoption of an online portal which registers customer's codeine purchases similar to what is used for pseudoephedrine.
Mr Amin said the Pharmacy Guild was advocating a schedule to allow pharmacies to supply medicines containing codeine for short term use and under very strict protocols.
He said the schedule - "Prescription Only Except When" - would work hand-in-hand with the real time recording system, MedsASSIST.
"The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has developed a program called MedsASSIST whereby anyone buying codeine medication would be asked for their identification... and then it's entered into an online portal.
"That way the pharmacies can see what was the last time the person purchased the product and can identify if they have been overusing it.
"The pharmacist could then have a discussion whether their pain is being managed appropriately and, if needed, that would be the point when they'd be referred to their GP for further investigation."