Doloxene cancellation due to its exit efficacy: Nitschke

Exit International director Dr Philip Nitschke said he believed Doloxene’s prominence as an end of life drug was the reason the “very good analgesic” was being restricted.

But a TGA spokesperson denied the administration had acted to stop terminally-ill patients misusing the drug.

The administration ann­ounced last year all pain-killers containing dextropropoxyphene would be cancelled from the register from 1 March because of their ability to produce serious arrhythmias, particularly with high doses or overdoses.

Drug manufacturer Aspen successfully applied to the Administrative­ Appeals Tribunal for a stay of the TGA decision in regard to Doloxene and Di-Gesic earlier this year, and the tribunal will hear Aspen’s full appeal in the coming months.

Dr Nitschke said the cancellation had caused significant concern among seriously ill patients who derived peace of mind from stockpiling supplies of Doloxene they