Pharmacists seek loophole for OTC codeine

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia is lobbying for special exemptions to allow pharmacies to keep selling over-the-counter codeine after it is up-scheduled to prescription-only status.

With pharmacies losing access to the OTC codeine market, worth $145 million a year, when products become prescription-only in February 2018, the pharmacy guild is proposing a scheduling loophole for acute short-term pain.

The guild, which strongly opposes rescheduling, recently informed members that it is negotiating with the Federal Government on proposals for a new “prescription except when…”