on air now

Chemists run out of low-dose painkillers a month into codeine ban

Chemists are running out of low-dose codeine products after the government banned over-the-counter painkillers last month.

The shortage is causing patients in pain to seek scripts for more powerful medication because they can’t access the lower-strength alternatives.

NSW Pharmacy Guild President David Heffernan tells Chris Smith the move is causing problems across the board.

“It’s frustrating for the pharmacists.

“The problem goes a bit further where you have people come in with a doctor’s script and you don’t have that stock… you can’t just transfer it to another higher strength or anything else.”

The government imposed the restriction to curb codeine addiction but Mr Heffernan says this isn’t the way to do it.

“The reason for the ban was to address the problem of misuse of these medicines and abuse.

“The only way to stop that is the real-time monitoring system. It gives us the vision and it gives us the ability to help the public.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview