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Attitudes in Australia on the upscheduling of over-the-counter codeine to a prescription-only medication

McCoy, JS, Bruno, R ORCID: 0000-0001-6673-833X and Nielsen, S 2017 , 'Attitudes in Australia on the upscheduling of over-the-counter codeine to a prescription-only medication' , Drug and Alcohol Review , pp. 1-5 , doi: 10.1111/dar.12568.

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Introduction and Aims: In December 2016, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration announced that over-the-counter(OTC) codeine would be available by prescription-only in February 2018. Prior to this announcement, the authorsaimed to evaluate attitudes among Australian codeine consumers, pharmacists and general medical practitioners (GP) towardsthe proposed upscheduling of OTC codeine. Design and Methods: Public Therapeutic Goods Administration submissionson codeine upscheduling were assessed, and a brief questionnaire was developed to assess the common issues raised. Participants(354 codeine consumers; 220 pharmacists; 120 GPs) completed a web-based questionnaire. Comparisons of attitudes on specificstatements related to codeine upscheduling were made between consumers who were in support and those who opposed the proposaland between pharmacists and GPs. Regression models were conducted to examine correlates of attitudes towards codeine restriction.Results: Most consumer, pharmacist and a third of GP respondents opposed the upscheduling of codeine. Consumers, on average,questioned whether the proposed intervention would address the intended targets of minimising codeine-related side effects and risk ofcodeine dependence. Like consumers, pharmacists indicated concern around whether codeine restriction would address concerns ofassociated harm and dependence, as well as the burden regular GP appointments would create in terms of finances for consumersand time for GPs. GPs themselves, did not support these views. Discussion and Conclusions: Consumer responses identifykey targets for educational campaigns when codeine is rescheduled, particularly around effective alternatives to OTC codeine.Additionally, contrasting views of pharmacists and GPs reinforce the importance of pharmacovigilance in evaluating the effectivenessof codeine restriction, once implemented.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:McCoy, JS and Bruno, R and Nielsen, S
Keywords: codeine, rescheduling, restriction, attitudes, Australia
Journal or Publication Title: Drug and Alcohol Review
Publisher: Carfax Publishing
ISSN: 0959-5236
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/dar.12568
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs

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