Codeine will require prescription from February 2018
The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has decided that products containing codeine will no longer be able to be sold over the counter from 1 February 2018.
Those wishing to purchase products with codeine will then need a prescription too.
The new law will impact products such as Nurofen Plus and Codral cold and flu tablets.
TGA said its decision maker took into consideration “compelling evidence of the harm caused by overuse and abuse of OTC codeine containing medicines”. They also said the decision maker took into account that in the USA, most of Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and several other countries, prescriptions are already required for codeine containing products.
“The TGA decision maker also took into consideration that there is little evidence that low-dose codeine medicines are any more effective for pain relief or cough than similar medicines without codeine,” the TGA said.