Guild works for patients on safe codeine access

Media Release

Date: 18 October 2017

The Pharmacy Guild rejects the outrageous and baseless claim that it is putting the commercial interests of pharmacies ahead of patients in relation to the upscheduling of codeine.

On the contrary, the Guild’s arguments have been driven solely by the need to maintain convenient access for patients who use these medicines legitimately, and the safeguard of real time monitoring for at-risk patients with addiction issues.

Rather than continuing to throw mud, Australians want medical groups like the AMA and RACGP to come to the table and take responsibility for the very real patient issues that doctors will need to manage from 1 February when these medicines become prescription only.

There is no real time monitoring at the doctor level in any mainland State or Territory to prevent doctor shopping, which is in contrast to pharmacies where there is real time monitoring of codeine in every State and Territory.

It is indisputable that there will be a very large increase in GP visits from 1 February by patients who are seeking prescriptions for these medicines and advice in relation to the treatment of their pain.

How will already overstretched doctors manage this increase in demand, including in regional and rural areas and elsewhere where there are already long wait times to see a GP?

The Guild respectfully requests that doctor groups stop hurling abuse and playing political games, and focus their efforts on addressing these very real and urgent patient issues.

As always, the Guild and pharmacists around Australia stand ready to work with their medical colleagues, government and consumer groups in the best interests of patients.

Contact: Greg Turnbull
Phone: 0412 910 261

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