Proposed codeine up-scheduling

From 1 February 2018, all over the counter medicines containing codeine will become Schedule 4 (Prescription Only Medicine).

This will affect the 80 per cent of Australians who use these medicines occasionally to relieve short-term acute pain and the 20 per cent or so who use them more regularly for chronic pain.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia is not seeking to overturn the upscheduling decision, but does want the best outcome for patients who currently use these medicines safely and appropriately.

To help community pharmacists prepare for the transition to upscheduling, the following materials are available for you to download:

  1. ‘Changes to medicines containing codeine – what pharmacists need to know’ which you can use in discussions with your patients and their carers.
  2. Checklist to prepare your pharmacy for the transition to upscheduling
  3. A flyer to talk about pain management with your patients
  4. Template letters to use in discussions with your local health providers
  5. Pain Australia Fact Sheet

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The Guild is also working with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia to develop online training modules to support community pharmacists in the transition to upscheduling.  Links to the training will be provided shortly. Guild members are welcome to review related CPD and training courses available at Guild Learning & Development.

Please note that this will also be discussed in the forthcoming Member Briefings to be delivered in August in each State/Territory in partnership with your local Branch.

If interested, please review the Guild's Executive Director's 'open letter on over the counter medicines containing codeine and the Guild's approach' to the media.

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Page last updated 18 August 2017