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Why West Aussies Are Stockpiling Codeine Meds

West Aussies appear to be stockpiling codeine pain-relief ahead of new laws which are about to kick-in.

From February 1, over-the-counter pain-killers which contain codeine will become ‘schedule 4’ and require a prescription.

The Pharmacy Guild of WA said it had received reports from pharmacists of customers who appeared to be stocking up on products such as Panadeine and Nurofen Plus, The West Australian reported.

Guild director Matthew Tweedie said the public was showing signs of panic-buying because of the looming reduced availability of some medications.

 “Patients suffering from short-term acute pain such as migraine, period pain and toothache have lost access to immediate treatment,” he told The West.

“Barriers to short-term relief will impact on these members of the community, especially those in rural remote areas who have limited access to GPs.”

It was a hot topic between 96FM’s Paul and Lise, with Lise admitting that she was one of those stockpiling.

“My voice may sound level, but I’m in a mad panic about this,” Lise said.

She confessed she needed codeine products to deal with cramps.

“When you have the thing that women get every month, you go to the Panadeine… Panadol, plus codeine, equals heaven.”

Ironically, the guild’s codeine tracking system, MedsAssist, will also shut down on February 1 as it doesn’t deal with prescription meds.

MedsAssist was the only real-time codeine monitoring system in Australia.

“We will lose visibility of who is using what, and we will be unable to intervene to manage issues such as doctor shopping and inappropriate use of codeine-containing medications,” Mr Tweedie said.

“MedsAssist was purpose-built and does not handle prescription medications, which codeine now becomes.”

- with The West Australian

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