30 January 2018

CODEINE NO LONGER AVAILABLE OVER THE COUNTER

People who now test positive for an opiate due to codeine medication will now be able to more easily explain the result. And, if required, can provide evidence of their prescription


AS OF FEBRUARY 1, PAINKILLER MEDICINES CONTAINING CODEINE CAN ONLY BE OBTAINED WITH A PRESCRIPTION FROM A GP OR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER.

In making this decision, the Therapeutic Goods Administration said it, “took into consideration compelling evidence of the harm caused by overuse and abuse of over
the counter codeine containing medicines.”

The USA, most of Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, United Arab Emirates and several other countries have already stopped over the counter sales of codeine containing products.

So, what does this mean for workplace drug testing here at Complete Corporate Health?

We’re sure that some pharmacists and consumers are disappointed with the decision. However, for workplaces, it will make it easier for us to manage drugs in the workplace and to reduce the number of positive drug test results related to codeine.

Because codeine can be picked up during drug testing (it’s an opiate drug, the same as heroin), we often see the results of people who inadvertently of deliberately misuse
codeine, particularly during the winter flu season.

People who now test positive for an opiate due to codeine medication will now be able to more easily explain the result. And, if required, can provide evidence of their prescription.

We understand that there is likely to be a grey area for the rest of the year as workplaces inform employees about the changes to the rules. Complete Corporate Health will review each drug screening on its merits and will gather as much information as possible for our clients.