Call for codeine on script only

In a letter to the MJA, Professor Olaf Drummer, of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, said there was increasing evidence of morbidity from OTC codeine-ibuprofen misuse.

His team found 115 deaths in Victoria in the decade before 2012 where codeine and ibuprofen were co-detected in post-mortem toxicological analysis, or where misuse was described in the coroner’s report. Of these, 63 deaths were from drug toxicity, although not necessarily caused by the codeine-combination analgesics