Study on codeine misuse a blow for pharmacy hopes

But upscheduling the drug is only part of the solution, say researchers

Pharmacists’ push to continue to supply OTC codeine analgesics has been dealt a blow by a landmark Australian study.

pain medication

SA pharmacist Jacinta Johnson and her co-researchers found patients admitted to hospital for misuse of OTC analgesics with codeine were taking a daily mean of 28 tablets per day for 606 days before admission

Hospital care cost taxpayers more than $10,000 per patient, with 10% of patients admitted to ICU, the researchers wrote in Drug and Alcohol Review.

Health costs were blown out by many patients’ initial reluctance to admit to misusing analgesics containing